Public Enterprises Minister Ben Micah is urging PNG Power Union to remain patient as the government identifies how the semi-privatization is to proceed.
The minister has given assurances that all entitlements due to the workers will be settled, and that the unions will be consulted on this.
“I have initiated the process for consultation last week and have given directions in writing for the management and Board and the IPBC to begin the consultation process” says the Minister in today’s statement.
“The process will identify areas that can be semi-privitised and how workers will be made redundant. If there is a need to pay out entitlements, the government will do that or the process will identify areas where workers can be moved to”.
The Minister described this change to PNG Power as “not wholesome”. He says the most affected will be the generation and he wants the union to begin to prepare a comprehensive paper on its position.
According to today’s statement, an advisor will be engaged to identify ways that the semi-privisation can move forward, before consultation with stakeholders begins.
The minister assures workers that “their interests will be seriously looked into” but that “we cannot rush the process and if the workers want a win-win outcome for all, then we must all work together for this purpose.”
The minister urges members of parliament not to politicise a matter which he says is a national interest agenda for the good of the majority of the people. He says he would like to see constructive comments and suggestions that will assistant the consultation process.
He said this is the last he will comment publicly on the matter until the government team managing this process reports back to him.