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Nationwide strike the Solomon Islands Public employees Union, SIPEU

Flights in and out of Solomon Islands halted

Charles Kereau, eTN Solomon Islands  Aug 24, 2009

International flights in and out of Honiara, capital of Solomon Islands, came to a temporary stop Monday following a nationwide strike by members of the Solomon Islands Public employees Union, SIPEU which took effect midnight Sunday. The strike also halted all domestic flights to more than 12 domestic airports in the country.

Civil Aviation officers are members of the Public Employees Union and had joined other members in the strike in support of their demands.
The SIPEU membership had demanded that they be paid their cost of living adjustments which amount to thousands of dollars and an abolishment of members of Parliament spouses’ terminal grants of more than 7 thousand US dollars.
The last flight out of Honiara was last night’s and all flights have been halted Monday morning as Civil Aviation officers didn’t carry out their normal duties to observe the strike.
However, striking members of the Public Service Union have been called to work in the afternoon Monday following the referral f the dispute to the country’s Trade Disputes Panel.
President of the Union had gone on the public radio and other mediums to urge members of his union to return to work but its is not clear whether all the workers including civil aviation officers will resume duty.
The strike action had seen outbound passengers of how long the strike will take and are waiting to hear any confirmation from the Civil Aviation Authorities.
The strike action had disturbed the country’s tourism industry which had picked up from the past years and had started on the right footing by getting increased number of visitors over the past months.

 Flights in and out of Solomon Islands halted
Acting Prime Minister, Honorable Fred Fono (MP).

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