27 Nov 2007

Vanuatu Shipowners Assoc stands firm on planned strike action

4:03 pm on 27 November 2007

Vanuatu's Shipowners Association is standing firm in its plans to take strike action over the proposed bill to repeal the Vanuatu Maritime Authority Act.

The Daily Post newspaper reports the Commissioner for Labour Lionel Kaluat as branding such a strike as illegal.

The Association says its members will all withdraw their services at the end of the month if the VMA Act is repealed and the Authority itself is liquidated.

The Association's vice-president, Dinh Van Than, says strike action is legal as far as owners of ships are concerned.

Mr Than says there's been a lack of consultation with shipowners..

He says repealing the VMA Act will have direct implications not only on the customers of the shipping service but on the economy of the country, rural services and Vanuatu's name internationally.

But the Shipowners Association has welcomed a planned meeting with the Minister for Public Utilities over the issue.