TRADE unions in Papua New Guinea are guardians of worker rights and welfare and, more generally, that of civil society, according to Dr Naihuwo Ahai, team leader for Democratic Governance Transitional Phase.
Dr Ahai said this in his keynote address at the PNG Trade Union Congress (PNGTUC)-sponsored workshop, where he presented a paper highlighting governance, democratic governance, the role of unions in governance and repositioning of unions for effective participation in governance.
He said that in terms of the role of the unions, they (unions) needed to do more than just protecting the rights and welfare of their members especially as guardians or “voices” for the silent majority.
Dr Ahai called on the trade unions to “reposition themselves” for effective participation on governance issues.
PNGTUC president Michael Malabag said that good governance was not necessarily restricted to government but, rather, it started in the family unit.
“A negative impact is the consequence of bad governance,” Mr Malabag said.
Mr Malabang and PNGTUC general secretary John Paska opened the workshop.