12 Sep 2005

Foreign contractors in Vanuatu under scrutiny after strike - paper

3:16 pm on 12 September 2005

Four foreign contractors working for Air Vanuatu, mostly from Australia, may be blacklisted after the airline strike last month.

The newspaper, The Independent, reports that one contractor has received a consent letter from the labour commissioner, Lionel Kaluat, advising him about the labour views in regard to Air Vanuatu staff claims.

The claims concern severance pay, collective bargaining agreement, or CBA, and other staff issues.

Mr Kaluat said that the consent letter was to allow the arbitrator to deal with the issue.

The labour department disagrees with the airline board, saying the board does not follow the proper procedure in regard to the process of an arbitration or CBA.

Its position is at odds with Vanuatu's recent application of the International Labour Organisation standards and principles on the rights of workers at the workplace.

Mr Kaluat says the monitoring process of the expatriate personnel at Air Vanuatu has nothing to do with the strike but is normal verification routine.