7 Sep 2005

Uncertainty surrounds PNG power industry dispute

6:53 pm on 7 September 2005

A secret ballot planned for tomorrow allowing Papua New Guinea Power workers nationwide to vote on possible strike action is still awaiting official sanction by the Electoral Commission.

A Commission spokesperson says they are yet to receive official correspondence from the Department of Labour, although the ballot was approved by the Industrial Registrar last week.

The move comes after the Government failed to respond to the requests of the PNG Energy Workers Association.

The Association president, Willie Kelis, told the Post Courier the government still had time to negioate before the union decides whether to strike.

The association is unhappy with foreign staff being hired to run the government-owned coorporation and want a number of pay and conditions concerns renegotiated.

Mr Kelis said in the event of a strike, the association would not tamper with power supply, just withdraw labour.