22 Dec 2004

Sacking of PNG State Enterprises minister averts industrial action over Telikom board

10:43 am on 22 December 2004

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has averted a major industrial dispute that could have crippled the country's communication services.

Sir Michael has met demands of the National Communications Workers Union by sacking the State Enterprises and Information Minister Dr Puka Temu and reinstating the sacked Telikom board.

The country faced the prospect of massive disruptions over Christmas after telecommunication workers walked off the job in protest at the sacking of the board.

Dr Temu had sacked the board for opposing the proposed partial sale of Telikom to an African consortium.

The plan has since been abandoned.

The Union has welcomed Sir Michael's decision, saying he has saved the country from a chaotic Christmas.