The National, Monday 09th January 2012
The PNG Trade Union Congress and workers in PNG will always uphold the Constitution, general secretary John Paska said.
“We are non-partisan and we remain impartial. The union movement’s integrity and credibility is at stake and we cannot afford to take sides with any faction,” he said.
“What we can say is whatever faction falls on the side of the Constitution gets our support. This support would be consequential to any outcome that upholds the supremacy and integrity of the Constitution.
“We assert that this crisis remains unresolved and is far from resolved. We cannot rest on our laurels and pretend that somehow the crisis has evaporated into thin air and the situation has returned to normalcy.
“We would be making the gravest mistake if we turn our backs on what is a very serious issue so fundamental to the strength and vitality of our fragile democracy.”
Paska said as long as it remained in limbo, political uncertainty and instability would continue to permeate everything relating to the health, economy, the vibrancy of the private sector and the welfare of workers
and ordinary people.
“There is still uncertainty as to the legitimacy of government,’’ he said.
“Public servants still do not know who the legitimate minister or secretary is and who they should be reporting to,’’ he said.
“This gives rise to serious legal and administrative implications where public servants are being unfairly placed in situations in which they can be held liable.”
He said this was particularly so with respect to the handling of funds, procurement of goods and government contracts.
“In such a situation, the public service will be rendered dysfunctional forcing the nation to effectively come to a standstill,’’ Paska
“Given the potential for serious negative fallout, we urge both parties not to close the doors on negotiations and to take proactive action to engage in meaningful negotiations to pave the way for mutual agreement that is in the best interest of the nation.
“We remind politicians that the Constitution, parliament and the nation belong to the people, who have every right to stand up and protect the integrity of these institutions.”