2 Sep 2005

Optimism for end to Tonga public servant strike

5:40 pm on 2 September 2005

There is optimism in Tonga that the public servant strike could be close to being resolved.

This week, a government offer of pay rises of up to 80 percent during mediation was rejected by the interim Public Servants Committee, which represent strikers.

They said they would not return to work but would return to the negotiating table along with mediator, Dr Sitiveni Halapua.

Our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu, says Dr Halapua seems to be doing a good job so far.

"He's not giving out any official statements at the moment. There's a fear that the media might blow things out of proportion, while they are really trying to calm things the situation down. It's a tactic that hasn't been seen before. He's purposely trying to block information to the media while he's trying to cool down the situation between the strikers and the government."