29 Aug 2002

Solomon Islands government and workers argue over pay

10:50 am on 29 August 2002

The Solomon Islands Government is at loggerheads with its workers over how much money they are owed.

The failure of government to pay its workers on time has led to widespread disruption with aviation workers, teachers and medical workers either working to rule or taking strike action.

Yesterday, general public servants were paid two weeks of outstanding wages, which the Government says brings them up to date.

However the head of the Solomon Islands Public Employees Union, Clement Waiwori, says the Government is still a fortnight behind in its payments.

He says the union understands the financial pressure facing the Government, but he says it does have some money, and that should be used to pay the workers.

"I think the government has to prioritise its own payments. we know that the government has some of its credible clients - essential deals which the government has to pay, but also what we're saying is our salaries should also be treated as priority payments."

Clement Waiwori.

The workers are due a normal wage payment today