Telikom workers to stop work tomorrow

The Coalition of Workers Union has backed Telikom workers who plan to carry out a stop work tomorrow.

This comes after what the communication workers Union President Nug Mamtirin deemed was an unsatisfactory reply by the Prime Minister to their 9-point petition.

The Prime Minister in a letter dated 21st February said industrial issues are to be dealt through the office of the industrial registrar thus he has directed Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari to seek advice from the Registrar before the government can address the issues contained in the petition.

“ NEC decision No. 360/2017 is to restructure the current complex nature of our Telecommunication companies (Telikom PNG Limited, bemobile, DataCo) so that we can achieve efficiency which will deliver reliable, low cost and affordable service to our people and growing business sector,” said Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

The heads of unions in a heated exchange today said they are against the merger, sighting debt by be-mobile and conspiracy theories about a monopoly in the Telecommunications sector.

“ bemobile has a debt of K122,184,206.59, Telikom does not need to inherit the debt from bemobile. Leave them to recover and pay their debt,” said Nug Mamtirin National President of the PNG Communication Workers Union

The Unions are also calling for the sacking of Kumul Telikom board Chairman, Mahesh Patel, stating he does not have the qualifications to run the board, questioning how someone with a medical background was selected for the role.

“He down played Telikom from 2012 to 2016, he failed to declare profit, he failed to pay dividend to the state and he failed to pay the 3 per cent as per the Enterprise Agreement 2010. As soon as you declare profit you need to pay 3 per cent to all the workers.”

The communication Workers Union president is also calling on Telikom’s management to recall letters which put all its employees on 6 months’ probation.   

Meredith Kuusa