22 Jul 2005

Public servants in Tonga strike over big pay lift for senior government workers

1:37 pm on 22 July 2005

Public servants have staged a rally in the Tongan capital Nuku-alofa today in protest at a hefty wage rise for senior public servants.

Around two thousand of the Kingdom's five thousand public servants have gone on strike over the payments, and have called for all public servants to receive an increase.

Our correspondent Mateni Tapueluelu says many of the workers are from critical sectors such as customs and education.

He says the Government has warned the strikers they could be sacked.

"But the civil servants who are not happy have said through their lawyer, Clive Edwards, who is also a People's Representative in the Assembly, that they are going to fight thyis to the end - no one is goiing to be dismissed - they will take it to the court if they have to."