4 Aug 2005

Tonga's public servants strike set to worsen

9:06 pm on 4 August 2005

Talks today have failed to end two weeks of strike action by public servants in Tonga.

Meanwhile, health workers have agreed separately to take action from tomorrow.

Nearly 3,000 public servants workers have been striking for two weeks demanding pay rises of up to 80 percent, but the government is offering just 30 percent.

The interim public service association's union secretary, Vuna Fa'otusia, says if further talks fail to reach a resolution the strikers will march on Parliament to present their demands directly to the King.

"Now we are setting up a march to His Majesty on Monday to present our appeal. Hopefully it won't come that far, that's why we have to push this negotiation tonight and even tomorrow."

The Secretary of the Interim PSA, Vuna Fa'otusia

In a separate meeting health workers decided to join the strike after they rejected a pay offer today.

Laboratory staff were already on strike but from tomorrow doctors and nurses will join them.