23 Oct 2014

Public Services International concerned about Tonga workers

11:42 am on 23 October 2014

Public Services International is expressing serious concerns with what it calls the ongoing threats and repression against public servants in Tonga.

On Monday, the Tonga Public Services Association called off its planned strike for a cost of living adjustment after the government allegedly said it would declare a state of emergency.

Mary Baines reports.

The PSA says the government is threatening to shut it down and is planning to sue its general secretary for defamation. The PSI general secretary, Rosa Pavanelli, is calling for the government to withdraw any planned action immediately. Ms Pavanelli says the price for consumer goods in Tonga has risen by 40 percent since the last cost of living adjustment in 2005, and the government has used all kinds of threats to make sure an increase for public servants is not granted. She says workers in Tonga have a constitutional right to withhold their services and participate in industrial action. Ms Pavanelli says the PSI is closely monitoring developments, and is ready to support the PSA in its fight.

Tonga's flag

Tonga's flag Photo: RNZ