5 Sep 2005

Striking workers in Tonga to go ahead with march calling for political reform

6:49 am on 5 September 2005

The Tonga Government has told public servants, who return to work today that it will not set up a committee to look at political reforms.

The workers agreed to go back to work, following 44 days of strike action, after the government accepted their demand that all workers receive wage increases ranging up to eighty per cent.

The Government also agreed not to discipline any of the strikers and students expelled from schools for supporting the action will be re-instated.

But our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu, says the workers have failed to get a formal commitment to consider political reform:

"So some sense of victory in terms of their pay rise, but since they turned political towards the end, they will not be able to fulfil those political targets."

A march planned for tomorrow, which aims to presenting a petition calling for political reform, will go ahead.