I REFER to John Paska’s comments in the newspapers last week.
I am becoming increasingly concerned about the role of the PNG Trade Union Congress and the direction its general secretary is taking this once powerful and independent voice of the workers.
Mr Paska is behaving like a mouthpiece for the Government and is no longer focused on pressing issues affecting workers who financially support the union and pay to keep him in office.
With the eloquence he speaks one would assume he has the brains to work out the issues raised by the Opposition.
Along the same vein, what is his and the PNGTUC’s stance on the Julian Moti issue, the Taiwan diplomatic scandal, the Singapore forest levy bank account, the inquiry into the Department of Finance, and Government ministers’ habit of resisting the Ombudsman Commission’s referrals to the Public Prosecutor?
It’s amazing how he can ask for alternate policies yet be blind to these issues that affect PNGTUC workers’ tax money and citizens of Papua New Guinea.
Surely he can work out the difference between official Opposition stand and any individual who might merely be exercising his freedom of expression similar to the way Mr Paska did.
He claims to speak on behalf of the members but if one looks very closely at the public statements he has been making in the media recently, workers and financial members of the union have every right to feel neglected and abandoned.
Workers in the country today are increasingly concerned about lack of affordable housing, high school fees, poor health services, unpaid salary and leave entitlements, poor working conditions, appalling infrastructure and decline in education standards.
While the Opposition has constantly pointed out the failures of the Government in delivering viable policies and programmes to address these issues, the PNGTUC led by Mr Paska has done next to nothing.
It is very clear that Mr Paska has lost the plot.
He no longer has the interest of the PNG workers at heart.
His alliance with the Government is threatening the core of unionism in the country.
He is no longer the viable voice for what the common worker stands for.
He has, in fact, vacated his role, and is directly engaging with the Opposition in the media on policy issues.
The Government is happy to sit on the sidelines and watch while Mr Paska takes on their fight.
Anyone reading his comments in the dailies last week will know where he is shooting from.
He must now step down from the trade union and formally accept his role in Government.
Office of the leader of the Opposition