25 Aug 2005

Civil servants refusing to co-operate with Tonga mediator

10:20 am on 25 August 2005

Civil servants on strike in Tonga say they won't co-operate with an arbitration team sent from New Zealand.

The strikers say they're now engaged in a political campaign for greater democracy in Tonga.

Our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu, reports from Nuku'alofa.

"The interim committee for the civil servants have announced that they have rejected the whole process of arbitration, until the government accepts that they be paid in the rate of 60, 70 and 80 per cent, during the period in which the arbitrator will be doing his job. They've also made it clear that they would turn political, calling all together for political reform in Tonga, making the whole parliament more democratic."