PNG TELECOM WORKERS THREATEN STRIKE

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 18) – Papua New Guinea telecommunications workers have given the government a week to meet their

demands or face a major strike.

Port Moresby based employees of Telikom PNG on Friday peacefully marched to Morauta House, the Prime Minister’s office, where they told Chief Secretary Joshua Kalinoe they had gone on "holidays indefinitely" and would switch off the communications systems.

There were no major disruptions to telecommunications at the weekend. Kalinoe appealed to the workers to return to work and not to disrupt communication services.

He also told them to take into account the need for the country to have proper telephone and internet services at all times to allow them to carry out business.

The Papua New Guinea Communications Workers’ Union is demanding from the Government:

Kalinoe said the demands were "both of political and management nature" and urged the members of the union to separate the issues. However, general-secretary of the union Bob Magaru said whether the demands were political or management they would all become industrial issues if they were not handled carefully. Prime Minister Sir Michael wanted an audience with the executives of the union on Friday afternoon.

A statement from Sir Michael’s office said yesterday afternoon union executives never turned up for the meeting. Attempts were made to contact the union without success, the statement said.

July 19, 2005

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier: www.postcourier.com.pg/

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