25 Aug 2005

Vanuatu airport workers in industrial talks with management

4:15 pm on 25 August 2005

Vanuatu's Commissioner of Labour says a conciliation process is taking place today between workers and management of Airport Vanuatu.

Lionel Kaluat says Airport Vanuatu workers around the country have issued a 30-day strike notice to the Airport authority over a range of demands, mainly concerning pay and allowance conditions.

Mr Kaluat says there is a danger that if that dispute is not settled soon, the workers could co-ordinate with Air Vanuatu workers who are also involved in an industrial dispute with their employers.

Air Vanuatu workers staged a temporary strike on Monday, and are considering further action after management stayed away from planned talks with the National Workers Union.

Mr Kaluat says he's advising the company to move toward arbitration rather than flame the issue.

"For the workers, I feel that it's not really good for them because our law here is too open and it only provides up to where parties have to consent for arbitration otherwise if only one party consents for arbitration then the issue sort of comes up to a deadlock and ends up going nowhere, and this is what I don't want to see happen."

Commissioner of Labour, Lionel Kaluat.