7 Nov 2005

Solomons minister accepts tribunal ruling in RIPEL dispute

10:13 am on 7 November 2005

The Solomon Island Commerce and Trade minister says a decision by the Trade Disputes Panel over a stand off at Russell Island Plantations is fair.

18 months ago, the Solomon Islands Union of Workers applied to the Panel to sort out its dispute with the company.

RIPEL workers have been on strike for more than two years over poor pay, working conditions and problems with management.

The panel has recommended that sacked workers be reinstated and that John Whiteside's role as General Manager be terminated.

The minister, Walton Naezon, says he supports the decision.

"The award is proper and I support it. I think its fair for the country and all stakeholders to put the end of this nature of dispute. Taking into consideration economic growth, I really want to make sure this company goes back into operation. Im trying my best."

But Russell Islands Plantations Estates in Solomon Islands says it may appeal the Panel's findings because the ruling is unfair.