24 Sep 2004

PNG communications workers union calls for government transparency over Telikom plans

4:12 pm on 24 September 2004

The national president of Papua New Guinea's Communications Workers Union has called on the government to make its intentions for Telikom PNG transparent.

Bob Magaru says it's unclear what the government intends to do with Telikom, but the union is concerned it will be another important local asset sold for less than its true value.

Mr Magaru also says the government's ordering of an independent inquiry into negotiations between the Independent Public Business Corporation and potential buyer Econet Wireless is just a waste of time and money.

He says the government has shown a lack of transparency and given mixed signals over apparent plans to sell various stakes in Telikom to Econet and even ATH Holdings of Fiji.

Mr Magaru says the industry wants to be included in the process.

"We don't want to be left out. Experiences from the PNGBC sale resulted in mass terminations and redundancies which were not in the best interests of Papua new Guinea. A lot of people that were displaced are out on the streets now. It's very very hard. We don't want a repeat of that situation."

The president of the PNG Communications Workers Union, Bob Magaru.