20 Dec 2004

PNG union to disrupt telecom services

4:34 pm on 20 December 2004

The head of Papua New Guinea's Communication Workers Union says the country is set to experience massive disruptions this Christmas if its demands are not met.

Bob Magaru says after walking off the job last week in protest at the sacking of the Telikom board last month, his workers are today officially going on strike.

The State Enterprises Minister Dr Puka Temu sacked the board for opposing the proposed partial sale of Telikom to the Econet-Altech consortium.

The sale has now been shelved and the Prime Minister has instructed Dr Temu to reinstate the board, something he still hasn't done.

The union is demanding that the sacked Telikom board and managing director be reinstated, and that the interim board, controlled by the Independent Public Business Corporation, be sacked.

Mr Magaru says they also demand the sacking of Dr Temu as minister.

"It's going to be a bad Christmas. Well, we're starting today. As of today, after lunch, we hope that the effects of our stop-work will be felt. It's a nationwide strike. We don't muck around."

Bob Magaru