3 Mar 2006

Vanuatu Greens leader criticises government for lack of action over industrial disputes

4:17 pm on 3 March 2006

The leader of Vanuatu's Greens Confederation, Moana Carcasses, has criticised the government for not addressing lingering industrial disputes.

58 unionists were arrested after the National Workers Union staged actions at Air Vanuatu, Eric Wong store, Vanuatu Abattoir Ltd and Unelco last week

Those arrested are under a variety of charges including unlawful assembly, unlawful imprisonment and attempted arson.

Mr Carcasses says he doesn't agree with union actions like holding people against their will at the abattoir as it is unlawful.

But he says he can understand the workers' frustrations, because leaders aren't willing to discuss their concerns over workers' rights and other demands.

"It is common that when there is a problem, the chiefs call the people in the government to the nakamal, and we seek to find a solution. There is a claim here, there are investors who are here to invest and make money and the government should be in the middle, or at least the Office of Labour, to mediate - that's their role. I think we try to run away and not face the problem. We should get together, sit down and find a solution."

Greens Confederation leader Moana Carcasses