By LUKE KAMA
THE Papua New Guinea Trade Union Congress (PNGTUC) has finally has full executive members representing both the public and private sectors after almost 12 years.
The election of executives and change in the congress’ leadership includes Clemence Kanau coming in as general secretary, replacing John Paska, who served in the position for over 26 years.
Paska was elected president, the national president of the PNG Nurses Association Fredrick Kebai was elected executive secretary; Police Association president Lowa Tambua is vice-president; and Anton Sekum, from Commercial Workers Union, is treasurer. The other executive members include Ralph Waiyalaka, from the Bankers’ Union; Dimasi Isei, from the Agriculture sector; Martin Alibob, from the Fisheries sector; and Edward Gisa, from the Energy Workers’ Association.
The election of the executives was done during the union’s 15th congress held at Koke Hanua Lodge at Boera, in Central, on Friday.
Kanau, when commending union members of their support and confidence in him, said it was an important achievement for the congress
to finally have in place a full executive.
“The change in leadership and the election of full executive members comprising major sectors in the country mark a new journey to make the trade union movement in the country, stronger through solidarity and united efforts,” he said.
Kanau said the congress was unable to have its meeting for12 years because of issues with finance and other things.
“With the new executives now, the congress will soon announce its work plans and one of the priority issues on its agenda will be to increase the rate of minimum wage from K3.50 per hour to K5 per hour,” Kanau said.