20 Oct 2014

Tonga PSA wants govt judicial review

2:39 pm on 20 October 2014

The Tonga Public Service Association says it will call for a judicial review of the government for its handling of a proposed workers' strike.

Public servants have called off their strike for a cost of living adjustment today after the government warned it would declare a state of emergency.

The PSA secretary general, Mele Amanaki, says once a new government is set up after November's general election, it will take the matter to the courts.

"We will submit to the Supreme Court to make a judicial review on these threats that have been done by government to a peaceful strike action, so that if we have any strike action in the future, these decisions that have been made by government would have been cleared by then."

Mele Amanaki says the government must ensure the welfare of its employees.

She says the PSA will continue to push for a cost of living adjustment for government workers.

The government is accusing the PSA of making false claims to justify a failed strike action.

The Minister for Justice, Clive Edwards, says his statements were taken out of context by the PSA.

"I said if the strike goes to the stage where the whole government is paralysed, then we would be able to envoke the emergency powers and declare that Tonga is in a state of emergency. And that's all I said in answer to if the strike gets to that point. But we were not, and at no stage had we intended to use the emergency powers at all."

The Tonga Minister of Justice, Clive Edwards.