24 Aug 2009

Solomons' public servants at work after pay dispute referred to tribunal

3:40 pm on 24 August 2009

The Solomon Islands Government says public service workers have withdrawn their strike notice now their claims have been referred to a Trade Disputes Panel for resolution.

The deadline for a nationwide strike passed at midnight, with the Public Employees Union demanding a 20 percent pay increase in light of an increase in entitlements for members of parliament and a 6-thousand US dollar gratuity for their spouses.

The Prime Minister's special secretary, John Keniapasia, says all public service workers have turned out for work today.

But he says there was some disruption to flights, after civil aviation workers failed to come to work before they were told the strike notice had been withdrawn.

"I think some disruption to the flights, but the situation should come back to normal so if there is any flight in the afternoon that should proceed, and tomorrow and later on in the week, those flights should be all right now. But the ones this morning and last night, yes."

John Keniapasia says the Trade Disputes Panel should now appoint an arbitrator to talk with both parties about the issues.