6 Aug 2007

RIPEL conflict in Solomons unresolved

3:28 pm on 6 August 2007

The Russell Islands Plantations Estate Limited in Solomon Islands has criticised a report that says government intervention is needed.

The report, commissioned by the Prime Minister's office, has blamed RIPEL for the plight of workers who have been on strike since June 2004.

It says up to 1,000 workers have been suffering poor health and education, a lack of income, clean water and power because of the industrial dispute over the company's management.

The government has revoked the investor license of the International Comtrade and Shipping Limited which manages RIPEL.

RIPEL's lawyer Gabriel Suri says the company has been battling through courts to sort the matter out, but it is complicated and will take some time.

"My view is that the government is driving the issue politically, without having regard to the legal issues or having regard to proper resolution of the dispute and the issue for us to get a resolution to the proper matter."

Gabriel Suri