Power firm to increase pay for staff in two weeks time

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday, May 10, 2011

PNG Power Ltd workers are to paid outstanding salary adjustments within a fortnight, the company said yesterday.
This follows a morning meeting with company chief executive officer Tony Koiri yesterday.
The workers demanded they be paid their respective salary adjustments backdated to June 4 last year.
The employees, through the PPL workers union, had given management until last Friday to meet their payout demand.
That did not eventuate and lead to yesterday’s meeting, where they were told the payouts start tomorrow and that everyone should be paid off within two weeks.
The workers said the management and some line managers had received their payments.
They said it was not fair on union workers who had not received their payments.
PNG Energy Workers Association president Santee Margis said the salary disparity issue was not a new one, going back to 2002-03 when employees of PNG Electricity Commission (Elcom) were transferred to PNG Power.
He said the employees had been promised better pay and working conditions but only some employees had benefited.
Margis said the majority of employees, especially electricians, linesmen and power house operators, had been left out completely since 2003.
He said this could be one reason behind the frequent power blackouts experienced in the capital city.
“Only when the workers receive their payment will we know if that was the cause for the frequent blackouts,” he said.
He said two meetings this year confirmed payments to the management level only.
Margis said they had seven meetings last year with the management and the union employees were given assurances that the new system called for a structural alignment programme that would cater for the payment of employees.
He said PPL workers went on strike over the issue in 2005 and 2007, when they had called for the removal of then chief executive officer Patrick Mara.
But Koiri assured workers he understood their grievances and that they would be paid their respective payout starting today.
Koiri said to ensure payment those workers not performing their respective duties “will be removed from their job”.