24 Nov 2014

Tonga Power strike called off

4:18 pm on 24 November 2014

Staff at Tonga Power Limited have called off a planned strike, following cabinet's decision to suspend an investigation into the company.

Tonga's flag

Tonga's flag Photo: RNZ

Cabinet had decided to investigate Tonga Power for financial irregularities based on an anonymous letter sent about a month ago, levelling several accusations against the then acting CEO, Steven 'Esau.

The CEO of Tonga Power, John van Brink, says the accusations are unfounded, and the Board of Directors expressed concern at cabinet discussing anonymous emails without any evidence.

He says staff shared this concern and more than 100 staff sent a letter to cabinet, threatening strike action for Monday.

"Cabinet discussed the issue and made a decision not to proceed with the investigation, at least til after the elections, so everything has quietened down. The strike was called off straight away. My gut feel is that it will go away, unless something comes up that causes friction between Tonga Power and government and this matter rears it's head again. Right now I feel confident that it's going to go away, and that everybody has simmered down."

Tongans go to the polls on Thursday.