Forum to exhange views: Dept

The National, Wednesday July 6th, 2016

THE Labour Department can only facilitate the compulsory conference for disputing parties, says Secretary Mary Morola.
Commenting on the issue of the Spill and Fill exercise currently undertaken by the Telikom PNG board and management, Morola told The National that the compulsory conference was a voluntary meeting of the parties.
“It’s not a forum to make a resolution. It’s a forum to exchange views, mediation, and conciliation and come to a common understanding.
“That is really the purpose of us trying to bring both parties in. Because it was already filed in court, we had to play a low profile while waiting for the court to make the decision.”
The dispute between the PNG Communication Workers Union and Telikom PNG had resulted from the board and management’s decision to implement the Spill and Fill Exercise in which 271 workers were made redundant.
The union claims that the Spill and Fill exercise was illegal and that it was forced upon the employees.
Morola said the workers representatives were claiming that the board and management did not consult them. Telikom is saying it had consulted them.
“It’s also a new concept to us. We are trying to look at its meaning in terms of redundancy whether they can use it interchangeably for Spill and Fill.
“We don’t step in unless they register it as an industrial dispute. When the situation got out of hand, we had to intervene to bring the disputing parties together.”
Morola said earlier this year court had made some ruling but they are still waiting for a copy of the court ruling to decide the next course of action.