25 Nov 2004

Striking RIPEL workers in the Solomons present demands

4:40 pm on 25 November 2004

The Chairman of the Board of the Russell Islands Plantation Estate says striking workers in Solomon Islands have presented specific demands to the company.

800 workers have been on strike for nearly 6 months and the dispute escalated with an occupation of the company premises this week.

Patrick Wong says police met the workers on the site yesterday and were given demands which were then passed on to management.

He says there were three points the workers wanted actioned, including two concerning the General Manager, John Whiteside.

"That there be joint security - the striking workers together with our current security, i.e. non-striking workers; two, that John Whiteside and family and wife depart; three, that the security that was employed for John Whiteside and family be changed. I assume they mean removed."

Mr Wong says the company will not action on the last two points, however there is room to negotiate on the first.