1 Sep 2005

Tonga strike not over despite Government offer

7:05 pm on 1 September 2005

Striking civil servants in Tonga have agreed to begin mediation talks from this evening, but have refused to return to work during the negotiating period.

This comes after the Government today agreed to pay the workers, who have been on strike for six weeks, wage increases of up to 80 percent while mediations talks are held.

That had been a condition for a return to work demanded by the strikers a week ago.

But our reporter in Nuku'Alofa, Mateni Tapueluelu, says the interim strike committee has just announced that they will not go back to work, but will return to the negotiating atable.

"The strike will continue through this period and the march that has been scheduled for next Tuesday will go ahead - there is no change to those events."