Featured News Papua New Guinea

Trade Unions urge government to end SOE

A decision is expected to be handed down when parliament resumes come Tuesday 02nd June whether there will be an extension of the nationwide state of emergency lockdown.

In a united front; consensus has been reached by major Trade Unions though their leaders on Friday, calling on the government to call off the SoE.

These major trade unions being the Police Association, Banker Union, and the National Airlines Workers Union among others.

The major Trade Unions reaching an agreement earlier in the week called on the government to lift the SoE but with restrictions maintained at our international borders and only at the localities that are classified as hotspots when positive cases are detected.

Highlighting aspects of the consensus reached, General Secretary Clemence Kanau in his statement said these includes;

  1. Lifting of SoE and all workers to return to work
  2. The drawdown of SoE funds to individual electorate
  3. Use of local expertise on SoE. (Minimum wage earners because the effect and impact of SoE are far worse than expected.)
  4. Abuse of State on Enterprise (SOE) Power. (Restricting workers from intervention on certain activities such as restructure.)
  5. Consultation with workers and all stakeholders.

General Secretary Kanau reiterated that the massive job loss predicted by the superannuation funds cannot be underestimated and with the estimation by the two major superannuation funds; collectively, over K600 million is expected to be paid out to members whose jobs were affected by COVID- 19.

Given the governments’ preventative approach which appears to have prevented the entry and spread of COVID- 19, the measures has highlighted also some side effects which the government will have to look at to revamp and boost the essential sectors to deal with COVID- 19 into the future and allow the economy to roll back into full swing.

Kanau says many workers have already suffered the consequences because of the amendments to the Superannuation’s Act to enable the early release of savings to CVOID- 19 affected workers.

Warning that emotions are high and could cause chaos if the SoE is prolonged and only the right decision by the government will defuse the tension.

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