3 Oct 2005

Vanuatu union upbeat about meeting PM over airline dispute

3:00 pm on 3 October 2005

Vanuatu's National Workers Union says its meeting with the Prime Minister Ham Lini regarding its dispute with Air Vanuatu management went well.

The Union's general-secretary, Ephraim Kalsakau, met Mr Lini last Friday to discuss its concerns over the lay-off of 26 workers from the airline, and workers rights.

Mr Kalsakau says the Prime Minister has a good understanding of the dispute and feels the sackings were carried out in a manner unconducive to good industrial relations.

"He's asked us to give him some time and he wants to meet with some of the senior partners in his government before he can come back to us on some concrete steps that he will be taking, so that will probably take today and tomorrow."

Ephraim Kalsakau says the Prime Minister has indicated that if he cannot affect some resolution to the case with government and shareholders, he will not stand in the way of union plans for a street demonstration.