The National, Monday 20th May 2013
By ABIGAIL APINA
WORKERS in East New Britain will now form only one union, the New Britain General Workers Union (ENBGWU), under the autonomy arrangements for the province.
Acting general secretary Patrick Waragat said this recently following a meeting with various stakeholders in Kokopo.
“This will pave the way for all sector workers throughout the province to become members and to register the union,” he said.
Varagat, who is also a union and NGO representative in the provincial autonomy committee, said under the autonomy plan for the union, all workers in all industries and public servants would become members of the ENBGWU.
“The union will appoint a representative who will act as the voice for workers in the provincial assembly.”
Waragat added that all NGOs would also appoint their representatives to the provincial assembly for transparency and accountability.
“This is the first time for workers to be represented in the provincial assembly level and the union plans to nominate a representative to the provincial assembly following the LLG elections next month,” he said.
He added that it was now an opportunity for all workers in ENB, especially women workers, to become members of the union so that their rights would be protected in the work place.
“Women face a lot of problems, including underpayment of wages, violence against women, lack of overtime, sexual harassment and verbal and physical assaults from their employers,” Waragat said.