19 Aug 2005

State energy workers meet as ultimatum to PNG Government ends

3:23 pm on 19 August 2005

Electricity workers in Papua New Guinea are meeting to decide whether to proceed with strike action from next week.

80-percent of workers at the government owned Power Corporation belong to the union.

The PNG Energy Workers Association's secretary general Philip Kaira says they are unhappy with the company'ss gboard choosing an Australian as chief executive over a PNG national.

He says the workers also want the removal of the expatriate board chairman, John Jeffrey, and the termination of a contract with consultancy firm, Korda Mentha.

Mr Kaira says the union has already prepared submissions in the form of a ballot, and the approval of the Industrial Registrar.

"The ballot is the only legal avenue to allow the union to have stopwork or withdraw labour. Without it, we cannot have industrial stopwork."

The union have given management and the government until today to act.