By Peku Pilimbo

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Oct. 1) - An understanding has been reached between the Papua New Guinea Communication Workers Union and the Independent Public Business Corporation over the partial sale of Telokom PNG Ltd., according to IPBC managing director Masket Iangalio.

Mr Iangalio said in a press statement yesterday evening that five meetings had been held so far with the PNGCWU and a further meeting has been scheduled at 10am today morning. 

In a letter issued to the union earlier, Mr Iangalio said that there would be no redundancies because of the partial sale and more jobs would be created.

He also said that employee equity participation date had lapsed and issues like home ownership scheme, suspension of loan payout, concessional taxation packages and a late expression of interest were internal Telikom agreements.

He said that the sale of Telikom was different from that of PNGBC where many employees were terminated after its merger with Bank South Pacific because the two had offices in the same areas. 

"IPBC has designed a sale structure which seeks a significant commitment for both maximising and expanding the current fixed line, mobile and the roll-out of community service obligations network which will be labor intensive, thus providing job security for current staff and more opportunities for potential staff," read the letter.

"We welcome you constructive contribution to the success of Telikom, a process in which the welfare of Telikom employees in uppermost in our thinking," he said.

He also said the union should not place unrealistic demands and asked them to help rehabilitate Telikom for its partial sale.

Mr Iangalio said they were following government decisions to make the sale as effective for everyone.

The PNGCWU had held two half-day stop works since Monday to get assurances from the IPBC regarding their future with Telikom.

They said they had seen former PNGBC employees mistreated after amalgamating with BSP and they do not want to be in the same boat.

October 1, 2003

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