26 Aug 2005

Planned mediation talks in Tonga cancelled

1:15 pm on 26 August 2005

Mediation talks in Tonga's public service strike which were expected to be held this morning have not taken place.

A retired New Zealand judge, Tom Goddard, flew to Tonga this week to preside over the talks.

But the striking workers are standing by their earlier statement that they would not not engage in the talks unless the Government agreed to pay them their demanded increases for the duration of the mediation period.

The Government has previously rejected this demand, but our correspondent says there is an expectation that today's Privy Council meeting may accept it.

The Privy Council is expected to make an announcement later this afternoon.