23 Mar 2011

Solomons union plans appealing RIPEL ruling

12:52 pm on 23 March 2011

The National Union of Workers in Solomon Islands plans to appeal this week's court ruling ordering striking workers to pay compensation for damage at the cocoa and copra Russell Islands Plantation, or RIPEL.

The High Court has ruled that the union and other striking employees of RIPEL must pay just over 900,000 US dollars.

Judge Edwin Goldsbrough also upheld the 2004 order that the workers' strike was illegal.

The owners claim that illegally striking workers at the time ransacked company properties in Yandina, Russell Islands, causing damage which resulted in the plantation being left idle.

But the union's general secretary, Tony Kagovai, says this appeal is about justice for affected workers who were treated badly by management.

"The position that the union and the workers are taking is that we will appeal the decisions of the High Court. We are meeting with our lawyers to put the case together and file it in the High Court as soon as possible."

Court action has been ongoing since 2004, with numerous appeals to the rulings.