PNG NATURAL GAS LABORERS GO ON STRIKE

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Demand increase from $1.43 hourly pay

By John Pangkatana PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Aug. 23, 2011) - A large number of workers at the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Project plant at Portion 152 outside Port Moresby went on strike to protest poor pay yesterday.

The mostly unskilled workers from the four impacted villages – Boera, Porebada, Papa and Lealea – are demanding that their service outline agreement (SOA) rate of pay (3.25 kina [US$1.43]) [per hour] be reviewed and upgraded.

This is a follow-up action of an outstanding grievance directed at LABA Holdings, the Portion 152 umbrella landowner company.

[PIR editor’s note: Laba Holdings represents the four villages in the Central Province project area: Boera, Papa, Rea Rea, and Porebada. It is the company contracted to provide all camp services such as catering, labor, housekeeping etc… to the Pioneer, Contractors & Sub Contractor Camps at the Liquefied Natural Gas Plant Site at Portion 152 Central Province.]

LABA Holdings is the Government recognized lanco that is given monthly payments under its human resource funding to pay the salaries of the 1400 plus unskilled labor force. The striking workers made their grievances known at around 3am yesterday morning that they are unhappy with the rate by blocking the access road to Gate 1 near the Frog Camp.

Other employees were prevented from entering the site.

By 8am, all employees including staff from outside the four impacted villages were lined up with rows of buses along the road.

Choeda Japanese Joint Venture (CJJV) country manager John Bramley addressed the striking workers by calling on them to take the matter up with the appropriate authorities.

He said that there are working committees in place to try and resolve the issue.

He urged the workers to return to work as those that stay away will not be paid.

Mr. Bramley said that they will also ensure that the access road to the site is open.

The workers were however defiant.

They (sub-contractor representatives) presented a set of demands to representatives of LABA Holdings in the presence of CJJV management.

The landowners want:

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