23 Jun 2011

Abuse-accused Solomon Islands tuna plant defends working conditions

4:31 pm on 23 June 2011

A Solomon Islands fish processing firm accused of not letting workers take toilet breaks is defending the working conditions at its Western Province plant.

The national workers union says Soltai Fishing and Processing staff allege that their hours of work have been changed without notification, they're no longer allowed to belong to the union nor to take breaks, including to go to the toilet.

The union says workers held a sit-in last Friday but returned to work on Monday after the trade disputes panel agreed to consider their grievances.

The Solomon Star reports that Soltai maintains it is in compliance with all Solomon Islands laws when dealing with its workers.

The general manager, Thomas Dorku, says Soltai provides free food and water to employees and denies that workers aren't allowed to use the toilet.

He says in order to keep track of latecomers and to avoid interruption the timekeeper shut the door but the situation has been resolved by employing another timekeeper to watch the door.