Government threatens to close down PSI affiliate in Tonga

21 October 2014
PSI affiliate in Tonga, the Public Services Association (PSA), announced its intention to take industrial action on 20 October. The strike was in response to the breakdown of negotiations for a fair Cost Of Living Allowance (COLA). The last strike in Tonga was held in 2005 after which an agreement was reached to review salaries every two year. However, the first review took place in 2013 but has not been implemented due to financial restrictions.

PSI has recently been informed that the government has threatened to close down the Public Service Association (PSA) and that the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice have sued PSA’s General Secretary for defamation. In addition, in an interview with the radio, the Minister of Justice confirmed that the Cabinet will activate emergency powers to prevent public servants from exercising their constitutional rights.

PSI has written a letter to the Minister of Justice, the Hon. William Clive Edwards calling on him to withdraw all actions brought against union members for their strike activities and to immediately drop the charges against the PSA and its leaders. PSI also urges the government to follow the recommendations by the recent ILO mission and to respect fundamental workers’ rights for all workers in Tonga.

PSI and its affiliates worldwide are closely monitoring developments, and are ready to support the PSA in its fight.

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