It had been seven months since the Festival of the Pacific Arts in Honiara and disgruntled workers are still demanding money they claimed the government through the ministry of culture and tourism still owes them.
Yesterday more than one hundred disgruntled workers gathered in front of the ministry’s office along the Commonwealth Street demanding the government to pay them.
They claimed the government owed them about $6 million.
The angry workers were the contractors, shell money decorators, securities, landscapers and those in charge of the catering services during the FOPA in July.
Speaking to this paper yesterday, the men and women said the government had been lying to them since.
“We want to know the truth whether the government will be paying us or not because they have been pushing us around and lying to us all along,” one of the contractors who wanted his name withheld said.
The disgruntled workers said they have been told by the Prime Minister’s Office that Cabinet had already approved their payments but when they checked with the tourism ministry they were later told the Cabinet had yet to approve their claims.
“It is confusing and we are now heading into the festive season and we need our money,” the workers said.
“The government offices will soon close until the new year so we need the government to honor their promise to us.”
The workers said the government should recognize their hard working during the FOPA which resulted in a successful outcome which placed Solomon Islands at the world map.
“Without us the pacific arts festival could not have been successful,” they said.
The workers said they would not stop demanding until the government lives up to their promises.
This paper made several attempts to speak to the ministry’s permanent secretary to verify the claims but were unsuccessful yesterday.
By Douglas Marau
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