Grievances addressed, workers’ union told

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By REBECCA KUKU, LUKE KAMA, DALE LUMA
THE Government has reminded members of the PNG Communication Workers’ Union planning an industrial action that their grievances has been addressed by Prime Minister James Marape.
Union members are demanding that board members of the Kumul Telikom Holding (KTH) be sacked for interfering in the operations of Telikom PNG.
Union president Nug Mamtirin said they were giving 14 days to the Government to respond, failing which members would stage a nationwide protest.
Communications and Energy Minister Rainbo Paita told The National that there was no need for union members to go on strike as Marape had already announced publicly that the positions of all department heads and board member would be advertised this month.
“Their demands (have already been addressed) by the prime minister’s directive to have all department heads and board member positions advertised,” Paita said.
“These include the Kumul Telikom Holding board, PNG DataCo and bmobile plus all other government departments and enterprises.”
Kumul Telikom board chairman Reuben Kautu told The National yesterday that he was yet to receive a petition from the union on what they were agitating about.
“To this date I have not received a petition and the issues they are fighting about. It is important that we understand the issues before we make a statement. But they have gone to the minister direct,” he said.
Kautu said the issues they were fighting for were not related to employee welfare but structural issues which were for the Government to decide on.
“I met them on Thursday last week on the structure and have approved the day after. The delay was that board wasn’t allowed to perform its fiduciary responsibility to conduct meetings to date.”
Mamtirin blamed the executives of PNG DataCo and bmobile for making decisions “not beneficial” to Telikom PNG.
“That’s why we are here calling on Prime Minister James Marape and the Communication and Energy Minister Rainbo Paita for the immediate termination of the (KTH) board and to appoint a caretaker board.”

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