5 Oct 2005

Tongan union hopes to be running by November

7:58 pm on 5 October 2005

A new body in Tonga called the Friendly Islands Public Service Association is expected to be up and running by next month.

Fotu Fisi'iahi, who was a member of the interim committee which led last month's public servants strike, has been in New Zealand establish connections with the Council of Trade Unions and seeking assistance.

Mr Fisi'iahi says the strike showed the need for a more permanent body to represent the rights of workers.

He says structures are now in place to have FIPSA operating soon.

"We're having a general meeting with all our members next Wednesday and then from there on we will select our executive committee and then from there on we will decide on when to start the operation but we are anticipating to commence as soon as the first of November."

Mr Fisi'iahi says the first priority for FIPSA will be to push for the government to enact an Employment Relations Act.