10 Oct 2002

Strike shuts down Solomon Islands air services

7:43 am on 10 October 2002

All domestic and international flights in Solomon islands have come to a halt after civil aviation, immigration, quarantine and meteorological officers began an indefinite strike last night.

The General Secretary of the Solomon Islands Public Employees Union, Clement Waiwori, says the industrial action has been taken after the government rejected the officers' claim for compensation for harrassment after the 2000 coup.

Mr Waiwori says his members are claiming more than two and a half thousand US dollars each for harrassment they claim to have suffered at the hands of militants after the coup.

He says the claim was sent to the government in July but Cabinet rejected it. It was resubmitted but was again rejected on Tuesday.

Mr Waiwori claims the decision was unfair because the government has already paid harrassment claims to officers in the Treasury and Customs Departments and to the Police and former MEF members.

The government recently announced that it will not be paying any more compensation claims arising from the ethnic tension that wracked the country.