17 Apr 2010

Unions in Solomon Islands look at nationwide strike over MPs pay increase

11:20 am on 17 April 2010

Unions in Solomon Islands say they will meet next week to decide whether to hold a nationwide strike in protest at a pay increase for politicians.

The Parliamentary Entitlements Commission has approved an 11 percent pay rise for MPs, and has boosted their discretionary funds, death benefits, transport and fuel allowances.

The Council of Trade Union's national secretary, Tony Kagovai, says the pay increase is unacceptable given the significant gap between the salaries of politicians and the average worker.

He says the country's 11 unions which represent private and public sector employees, including health and education workers, will meet on Tuesday to decide whether to mandate a nationwide strike.

"They are very angry and workers are not happy about what is going on. Members of Parliament know they are getting closer to the end, and there true colour comes out."

Tony Kagovai says 28 days notice of strike action would be given.