Telikom PNG Workers Petition Government To Reject Merger With BMobile, DataCo

Petition also demands removal of board chairman

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Feb. 21, 2017) – Telikom (PNG) Limited’s workers have given the National Government seven working days to respond to a petition they delivered to the chief secretary Isaac Lupari in Port Moresby yesterday.

  1. Among the list of demands, the workers want Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to look into and revoke the planned merger of the government’s communications companies -Telikom, bmobile and DataCo.
  2. The appointments of its current board chairman Mahesh Patel while also one-time chief executive officer of Digicel and PNG Power John Mangos, whom the workers said they understood will head the new communications outfit, once the merger is completed.

A petition containing their list of demands was delivered yesterday morning by the general secretary of the Communications Workers Union general secretary Jeffrey Borari on their behalf to Mr Lupari.

Also present was the chief executive officer of Kumul Consolidated Revenue Thomas Abe, Telikom Union national president Nug Wamtrin union members and staff.

Mr Wamtrin in presenting the petition to Mr Lupari had thanked the chief secretary for taking time out of his busy schedule to receive their petition.

He said other issues they also want the PM to look into are:

  • The revocation of National Executive Council decision 216 and that a new submission be made;
  • The removal of Mr Patel and Mr Mangos and they be replaced with people whom the workers argued would be fit and proper and would respect the laws of the country;
  • That its current CEO Michael O’Donnelly not be reappointed;
  • No retail business of Telikom be trusted to bmobile; and
  • That Moses Tendumo assume his role as Acting CEO as per the NEC decision No:360/2016 which they claimed the chairman and the board have refused to comply with.

The demands were made on the eve of a press conference which Acting Minister for Public Investment and State Enterprises Charles Abel had announced last week, would be held to date to announce details of the new communications outfit.

"Telkiom was established as an Act of parliament in 1996 and as such it remains and SOE owned by people of PNG on this basis, should not be any merger or having Telikom devalued or its brand name changed from Telikom PNG to Telikom Mobile," the president said.

Mr Lupari in receiving the petition had stated from the outset that he would not comment on the issued raised.

He had however commended the staff for what he termed as being the "peaceful, right and proper approach" they had taken in airing their grievances.

He had assured that their demands would be relayed to the PM and that government would respond accordingly.

PNG Post-Courier
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