16 May 2002

PNG union says striking workers aren't affecting urgent supplies

4:50 pm on 16 May 2002

A Papua New Guinea Maritime Workers' Union representative has hit out at suggestions by suppliers in Lae that the current waterside strike is severely affecting medicial and food supplies.

The International Food Corporation said yesterday that the strike had already cost the company well over 130-thousand US dollars.

Medical supplier, City Pharmacy, has also expressed concern that they may be forced to airlift supplies from the ports which would double their costs.

But Union representative, Reg McAlister, says the union has been open to allowing urgent supplies through.

Mr McAlister says the companies have simply not approached the union.

"This company never approached the Union to release the containers. If they approached the Union we would definitely allow the containers to leave Lae wharf but we've had no approach, in actual fact we allowed medical supplies to be off loaded I think on Monday from the Moresby wharf to the health department, things like medical supplies yeah we'll allow them to leave the wharf it's not a problem."

PNG Maritime Workers' Union spokesman, Reg McAlister.