24 Dec 2002

Public service workers sacked in Solomon Islands

3:18 pm on 24 December 2002

The Solomon Islands government has begun sacking workers in statutory authorities and state enterprises, an effort to reduce its payroll to make them more profitable and viable.

One of the state owned businesses, Solomon Airlines, has terminated seven of its manager including the general manager.

MP Michael Maina, the Solomon Airlines Chairman, says the decision to sack the managers is because their salaries create a big drag on the airline's cash flow.

He says the airline had to do this to avoid insolvency.

Mr Maina says the managers' salaries and other fringe benefits total nearly half a million dollars a year.

Mr Maina says that now that the managers are gone, the airline should be in a position to have its own jet next April.

Solomon Airlines has been flying a chartered aircraft after it cancelled the lease on a 727 jet because of financial difficulties.