3 Oct 2005

Vanuatu government steps up efforts to resolve lingering industrial dispute

7:03 pm on 3 October 2005

The Vanuatu government is stepping up efforts to resolve the lingering industrial dispute between Air Vanuatu and the National Workers Union.

The Prime Minister met with the Union on Friday to discuss its concerns over the lay-off of 26 workers from the airline, and workers rights.

Ham Lini says he will talk to senior ministers and fellow Air Vanuatu shareholders to try and forge a solution, and will report back to the union by Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the minister responsible for Air Vanuatu, Edward Natapei, says the chances of the dispute being solved depend on the outcome of discussions between the Labour department and Air Vanuatu management.

"What we need to do is try and accomodate the wishes of the Labour people and the need for management to cut back on staff and bring the airline back on track again. So that is the difficulty that we need to actually sit down and look at within the next few days."

Edward Natapei.