9 Sep 2005

Air Vanuatu workers to contest lay-offs

10:38 am on 9 September 2005

The Vanuatu National Workers Union has presented the government with an eight-day ultimatum over its dispute with Air Vanuatu.

The union delegate representing Air Vanuatu staff workers says the circumstances surrounding the termination of 26 jobs at the airline this week remain suspicious.

Joseph Neil, one of the 26 Air Vanuatu staff who lost their jobs this week, admits the terminations were technically legal but suggests they were a response to unionists.

He says they want the 26 reinstated and for dispute procedures to take their course.

"The application should take eight days to process the application - that's the eight days referred to. We are applying to petition the government after a public demonstration showing what we stand for. and to show that we are not happy with how the government is dealing with union issues in the country."

This week's meeting of the new union committee to co-ordinate actions surrounding this and other industrial disputes, also included the Vanuatu teachers Union.