5 Jan 2015

Vanuatu PM advises fishermen to make decision

6:35 am on 5 January 2015

Vanuatu's Prime Minister's office has advised 1000 members of the Vanuatu Fishermen's Association to make up their minds on whether they want to receive a goodwill payment from the Government or they want to take their case back to court.

The Association is seeking about 10 million US dollars in outstanding wages for about 11-hundred fishers for more than 20 years ago.

But a spokesperson in the office of the prime minister, Kiery Manassah, says the members are not united in what they want because the Prime Minister made it clear his government was not mandated by law to pay them their claims.

Mr Manassah says the Prime Minister told parliament that his government understood their plight and was ready to make a goodwill payment to the members for Christmas.

But Mr Manassah says it is clear that some members insist on demanding the overall payment of 10 million dollars which the government will not pay.

He says the best option for fishermen is to take their case back to court.

However, the president of the Fishermen's Association, Remy Kunuan has described the confusion as a misunderstanding saying the government can pay the members a goodwill payment.