2 Aug 2005

Trade in Tonga being hampered by public servants strike

7:05 pm on 2 August 2005

A nearly two week old public servants strike in Tonga is impacting on the country's trade.

Nearly three thousand workers are on strike, protesting against huge increases in wages being paid to senior government employees.

They have also demanded similar rises for all workers.

Our correspondent in Tonga, Mateni Tapueluelu says airlines have reported the unloading of freight has been delayed because of a lack of workers.

"They're saying that they cannot unload their containers from the airport. They've had to track down Customs Officers privately and individually to get them out. There's only one Customs officer at the aiport and he cannot do that alone."

Meanwhile Mateni Tapueluelu says the strike organisers have been broadcasting advertisements on TV and radio, naming the sole customs officer and branding him a traitor.