300 Telikom PNG employees out of work
While Easter is a time of reflection and celebration of Christ’s sacrifice, it is a sad weekend for more than 300 Telikom PNG employees who are now out of a job after their employer forced them into early retirement through the ‘spill and fill’ exercise, the Sunday Chronicle (27 March) reports.
According to the report, a Coalition of Unions was formed by other state enterprises to fight their case. They are made up of the:
- Communication Workers Union (CWU),
- Energy and Workers Association (EWA),
- Maritime and Transport Workers Union (MTWU),
- National Airline Employees Association (NAEA) and;
- Bankers Employees Association (BEA).
The coalition, in a letter dated March 15 to the Prime Minister Peter O’Neil, is seeking the country’s leader to intervene and address their workplace issues. They also drew up a list of demands which required his immediate attention.
They have a list of 3 major demands that include the PM intervening and addressing their rights, job security and terms and conditions, the ‘illegal spill and fill’ be stopped and all retired employees be immediate reinstated, and the following expatriate officers be sacked –
- Manesh Patel (Chairman of Telikom Board),
- Michael Donnelly (CEO Telikom PNG),
- Gary Hershey (CEO Kumul Holdings)
- John Mangos (Executive Director and MD, PNG Power), and;
- David Conn (Director, PNG Power).
The workers staged a meet at Jack Pidik Park last Wednesday hoping for an audience with senior government officials and ministers. They were met by Opposition Leader, Don Polye, and his deputy Sam Basil, who vowed to take their grievances to parliament.