Lae Port: Minister Toni in Spotlight

Lae MP, Loujaya Toni is put under spotlight bythPNG Maritime Union following her comments overthe Lae Port issue where she suggested competition may benefitthe disputing landowners.

PNG Maritime Union workers are now calling on Loujaya Toni to apologize.

Her comments have also attracted strong criticism fromthe Union workers andtheir families.

The Union’s response comes after Toni’s comments which supportedthe foreign stevedoring company Patricks to bid for the Lae Port contract asthe fourth stevedoring company. She spoke on EMTV last week.

“Bet what have those LO’s that are working under Riback benefit from? We’ve had generational wharf labourers, whtherthey’re working under Consort or Riback or under United Stevedores. We have had generational wharf labourers”.

The Lae MP’s call was based on breaking existing monopoly so it benefitsthe landowners based on a fifty-fifty ownership arrangement.

The Union meanwhile argues thatthe current stevedoring company remains but should increasetheir working capacity so thatthe stevedoring business is controlled by Morobeatns and not by a foreign company.

The general sentiments shared bythe Union which representthe three existing stevedoring company for the past six months is based on business interest andthe workers welfare, and not landowners issue.

The debate overthe port issue is expected to take more twists and turns.

Meanwhile,the Union workers issued anther threat. They plan a possible massive workers resignation ifthe Lae MP fails to formerly addressthe workers and issuedthe formal apology for her comments made onthe media.

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Natasha Ovoi

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