Dept, minister needs to speak up


Protests against the no-jab-no-job policy are being taken to new heights and getting stronger each day with the latest being a joint petition presented on Tuesday at Parliament in Port Moresby.
The draconian policy came into effect soon after the Pandemic Act was rushed through Parliament.
Now it is wielded by employers, especially those who are taking
a hard stance against the Coronavirus (Covid-19), in the work place.
Meanwhile, the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission is raising serious concern against the Pandemic Act, particularly on the breach of fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
CLRC chairman Kevin Isifu stated that neither due diligence nor proper consultation done prior to enacting the Pandemic Act and, therefore, it comes into conflict with our “mama” law.
While so much talk is on employment rights, labour and workplace safety, the agency responsible for industrial relations and its minister have gone completely silent.
The country would really love to hear from the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations and Minister Tomait Kapili on staff deployment, job security and service continuity in sectors affected by the no-jab-no-job policy.
Interestingly, the preamble of the department’s mandate on its official website in part reads: “The Department of Labour and Industrial Relations is very sympathetic to the needs of the business community and those seeking to invest in our country.”
Perhaps this could bring one to wonder the department is more concerned of the interests of the business community over the job security and welfare of Papua New Guineans.
No-jab-no-job is forcing many Papua New Guineans out of job and the anxiety out there is not very entertaining.
The Government must not just say vaccination is not compulsory and then rest on their laurels.
They’ve got to shake the department from its slumber check the plight of our people. Minister Kapili needs to rise up.
The country would like to hear from you.
Many employers are running fiefdoms within the context of our laws and are strictly imposing their will on our people with an iron fist.

David Lepi