10 Dec 2004

PNG State Enterprises minister defends sacking Telikom board

11:17 am on 10 December 2004

Papua New Guinea's State Enterprises minister says he sacked the entire board of Telikom PNG Limited because it was not complying with cabinet directives.

Dr Puka Temu took the action over the board's antagonistic stand on the proposed partial sale of Telikom to the Econet-Altech consortium.

Last week, the board decided to take court action to stop the partial privatisation process.

Dr Temu says Telikom's board has a corporate responsibility to adhere to the executive government...

"And as minister responisble I cannot allow a board to remain there when they're going against the directive of the executive government, through me and cabinet . The act does not allow them, they're not the shareholders, they're the directors. And like all directors they comply with shareholder directives."

Meanwhile, Telikom employees have taken sick leave today to protest the sacking of the entire board in what they call an "indefinite withdrawn labour action".

The president of the Telecommunications Workers Union, Bob Magaru, says their action is not a strike but an expression to the Government of their displeasure over the sackings.