16 Jan 2003

More than 70 thousand PNG workers to strike later this month

11:39 am on 16 January 2003

The Combined Public Sector Unions or CPSU has told the Papua New Guinea Government that all its members will go on a three day strike starting on January 27.

The planned strike will involve up to 77-thousand public workers in areas such as health, electricity, telecommunications, education, transportation, police and firefighters.

The Chairman of the CPSU, Napoleon Liosi says the industrial action is because of the government freeze on salary and wages and the rising cost of living.

He says workers are put in a pincer position where on the one hand there is a wages freeze and on the other there are unchecked increases in the cost of basic items.

PNG's other union group, the Trade Union Congress has indicated that it may also join the CPSU in it's strike.

Meanwhile, the Industrial Registrar says that the proposed nationwide strike has not yet been registered.

Helen Saleu says that the unions' planned action is unofficial as it did not follow the normal procedures of registering their action.