12 Dec 2005

Vanuatu Workers Union delivers MOA to government over trade disputes

4:36 pm on 12 December 2005

Vanuatu's National Workers Union says it's given the government until later today to respond to a Memorandum of Agreement it's proposed to deal with ongoing industrial disputes.

The Union's general secretary, Ephraim Kalsakau, says the government has verbally agreed to talk with the Union over its three disputes, including the one with Air Vanuatu.

On Friday police arrested 30 union members for disrupting Air Vanuatu flights in a picket action over workers rights and recent sackings.

Mr Kalsakau says the government-owned airline is breaching the Employment Act which requires redundancies of more than ten people to be reported.

"They're not reporting the redundancies to the Department of Labour. We just see it as part and parcel of what's been happening in the past. Air Vanuatu is breaking the law and it's being condoned by the government of Vanuatu. This is the third wave of redundancies and they haven't even started reporting it to the Department of Labour yet."

Ephraim Kalsakau says if the government doesn't respond to the MOA by today, further actions by other branches of the Union will commence.