The National, Wednesday 01st Febuary 2012
DEAR Mr Thomas Abe, just in case you have forgotten, let me remind you and IPBC that you owe about 70 workers of the defunct National Petroleum Company PNG outstanding ex-gratia redundancy payment.
When the NPCP was mothballed last December by Sir Mekere Morauta he announced that K14 million had been budgetted for this exercise. Thus, on Dec 21 a special ex-gratia redundancy payment was granted.
Abe and the IPBC management then paid the 70 redundant officers 60% of their estimated net entitlements and promised to pay the remaining amount by Jan 16, that is, two weeks ago!
The officers signed their notice of redundancy on these conditions. This means that what was agreed to is in black and white, signed between the individual officers and IPBC through Abe and Leon Buskens as the then NPCP CEO.
So why the delay in settling the outstanding payment when Sir Mekere had allocated K14 million for the redundancy exercise? Mr Abe and IPBC cannot renege on an agreement – it would amount to breach of contract which staff could sue for, and they know who the loser will be!
The new government in its wisdom had axed the state’s oil and gas resource company, specifically for the LNG Project, for political expediency that qualified people who joined on their own merit suddenly found themselves on the street.
Do the right thing, Mr Abe, and pay these officers their outstanding payment.