Law breaking foreigners face axe

National, Normal


LABOUR and Industrial Relations secretary David Tibu says he will be forced to consider cancelling work permits of foreigners who continue to break Papua New Guinea labour laws.
Mr Tibu said this  last Friday in relation to 23 infringement notices issued to companies operating in Kokopo and Rabaul for breaches of provisions of the Employment of Non-Citizen Act.
Last Friday, the Labour and Industrial Relations Department concluded work permit inspections of East New Britain business which  started on Sept 4 and during which notices were issued to those companies that have not complied with foreign employment laws, especially foreigners on work permits.
Mr Tibu said from the inspection report, respective penalties for breaches were imposed, amounting to a total of K920,000. This money, he said, was a lot but was “peanuts” compared with the millions of kina that these companies were making.
“The only time they (companies) get caught is when we conduct inspections.
“Even though we issue notices to them, they still continue to break the law and I may be basically forced to cancel their work permits,” he said.
Mr Tibu said some of these companies breaking the laws were big and well known.
He said  with the notices being issued to the companies, he was telling them to show cause why he should not cancel their work permits for venturing into areas where they were not supposed to be.
He said the inspections discovered that the type of businesses conducted by non-citizens were contrary to their IPA registration certificate.
“These non-citizens were sighted in food bars physically serving customers and operating cash registers which were against their work permit,” he said.
Mr Tibu said he would be recommending to the East New Britain provincial administration, in a letter, that in future before it issues trade licences for these fast food outlets, they should check with his office on whether these people were already given work permit elsewhere.