1 Sep 2005

Tonga government agrees to pay striking state workers their demanded payrises

1:05 pm on 1 September 2005

The Tongan government has agreed to pay striking civil servants their pay rise demands.

Tonga's Princess Regent, the Prime Minister and the cabinet told a strikers' rally the government would increase salaries by 60, 70 and 80 per cent.

The announcement comes as strikers are gathering support for a petition for political reform, to be presented to the King next week.

Our correspondent in Nuku'alofa, Mateni Tapueluelu, says not all strikers welcomed the offer.

"Some have accepted the offer by government, but others are saying they should push it all the way because the government is only responding now because they are reaching out to the villages and the people to call for a total political reform in Tonga."

The Government and strikers' representatives plan to meet this evening.