17 Dec 2004

Union head says PNG heading for chaos if Telikom Board not reinstated

5:43 pm on 17 December 2004

The head of the Telecommunication Workers Union in Papua New Guinea says the country could be heading for chaos if the Telikom dispute is not resolved.

Bob Magaru says his 1300 members have walked off the job in protest at the sacking of the Telikom Board last week.

The Telecommunications minister, Dr Puka Temu, sacked the board for opposing a proposed sale to an African company.

The sale has now been shelved and the Prime Minister has instructed Dr Temu to reinsate the board, something he has still not done.

Mr Magaru says his union has support from other groups and action will be widespread if the board is not reinstated soon.

"We're currently having blackouts in Moresby now. We've got no water in Port Moresby. We have the Maritime workers and the Harbourside workers who have threatened that if we don't get any favourable response we will pull the plug all at the same time. We've got the doctors' and the nurses' support."

The head of the Telecommunication Workers Union, Bob Magaru.