20 Oct 2014

Tonga public servants set to strike

7:17 am on 20 October 2014

Hundreds of public servants in Tonga are set to strike today despite the Government warning that workers without leave approved will be breaking the law.

The Public Service Association wants up to 22 percent in cost of living adjustments to be paid to workers over the next two years, with an immediate commitment to at least six percent.

Its secretary general, Mele Amanaki, says over 600 members have agreed to strike unless the Government meets their terms.

She says claims by the Finance Secretary that there is no money available are wrong.

However, Tonga's acting Solicitor-General, Sione Sisifa, says civil servants who strike will be breaking the law unless they have informed their respective ministry and been granted leave.

The Prime Minister Lord Tu'ivakano has said Tonga cannot afford the demand for a 22 percent increase in wages as it is repaying a 11 to 13 million pa'anga loan to China.