2 Aug 2005

Tongan businesses suffer amid public servants' strike

8:31 pm on 2 August 2005

The private sector in Tonga is feeling the effects of a 12-day long strike over wages by government workers.

Nearly three thousand workers are on strike, calling for all workers to receive the same hefty wage increase given to senior public servants last month.

Airlines have said the unloading of freight has been delayed because only one Customs Officer is working at the airport during the strike.

Our correspondent in Tonga, Mateni Tapueluelu, says Customs officials have said the country is losing thousands of dollars a day because of the strike.

"The shopping centres around Tonga are saying their containers are not being released from the wharf because of the Customs Department going on strike and with the airlines they're saying one of their top customers flying out and in of the country are the civil servants, but they're not doing that, they're staying on strike."

Our correspondent in Tonga, Mateni Tapueluelu.