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New union for workers

29 July 2014
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Hope for workers’ representation of their rights can now be heard as newly registered Workers Union of Solomon Islands (WUSI) formally announces its registration and establishment.

Announcing this yesterday, the Workers Union of Solomon Islands also indicated amongst its new approaches it will cover both private and public workers.

And that 50 percent of its executive membership must be held by females.

The new union was established after the previous Solomon Islands National Union of Workers (SINUW) was deregistered upon High court ruling over its member’s illegal strike on the RIPEL issue.

Tony Kagovai said the new union has been registered in Solomon Islands and it’s now open for membership from both private and public sector workers. 

Tony Kagovai returns as General Secretary to the Workers Union of Solomon Islands while the President is Gladis Pae and her Vice President is Clera Rikimani.

He explained the Workers Union of Solomon Islands (WUSI) has nothing to do with the RIPEL dispute and that it will equally benefit members who wish to join.

“WUSI would benefit former members of the Solomon Islands National Union of Workers if they choose to join.

“It represents a new phase in the development of trade union in Solomon Islands, and for the first time we have a trade union which can represent both private and public sector workers,” he said.

He added overseas international trade union organizations are aware of the registration of the new union and have pledged to give immediate recognition and work with the Workers Union of Solomon Islands.

WUSI’s advisor and consultant Joses Tuhanuku said whilst WUSI’s idea of new approach is broader in covering both the private and public sector workers.

It is also an avenue to have better cooperation to help in effective negotiations between the union and employers, he said.

“WUSI’s new approach would like to see working closely with individual industries and employers.”

He noted that whilst the union will be representing the workers’ rights, it is also important that employees perform to the employers’ expectation on whatever contracts set for a good end production.

“WUSI is mindful of the urgent need to shift in worker’s and employers’ approach so as to give due respect to each other’s rights.

“And to pursue cooperation, rather than confrontation, with employers’ and the government within existing legal frameworks.”     

He added having equal representation on gender is yet another achieved goal set in this new union.

“We have women leaders in all works of lives already and they have proven beyond doubt with greater integrity except at the political level.

“WUSI sees the significance of gender equality thus is grateful to have half of its executive council are women.”

The official announcement of WUSI’s legal registration and launching of its constitution was witnessed by union members and key stakeholders.

Bradford Theonomi

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