Works’ Union of Solomon Islands (WUSI) has issued a notice of request to the International Transport Federation (ITF) for an international ban on shipping services to Solomon Islands.
This comes as the ongoing dispute between the parties continues.
WUSI general secretary Tony Kagovai yesterday confirmed to this paper that a letter has been sent to ITF.
In a letter addressed to the President of International Transport Federation (ITF), ITF Headquarters London United Kingdom, WUSI had formally informed the head office that it has engaged in a dispute with the Solomon Islands Ports Authority.
According the letter cited by this paper, WUSI stated that it has engaged in a dispute with the Solomon Islands Ports Authority over WUSI’s demand for the immediate removal of its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Collin Yow.
“We are seeking a secure and reliable source to forward to you a full report of the dispute, but this guy is running the Honiara Ports as if it just his personal Casino and he has sacked WUSI’s entire In-house committee as well as other influential WUSI members and supporters.”
The letter further stated, “We apply and obtained an order of the Solomon Islands High Court for the reinstatement of the sacked workers while we await our case before Solomon Islands Arbitration Court and even that, he has so far refused to comply with the order of the High Court.”
The letter further stated, “Mr. Yow has not only threatened the job security of WUSI members, but he is a threat to exporters whose workers are members of WUSI.”
In the letter Mr. Kagovai stated that he is aware of one overseas shipping liner which has suspended its shipping service to Honiara.
He added they have been advised that it is possible that more are likely to follow.
The letter further stated, “WUSI also has information that Mr. Yow is connected to a group supposedly from Singapore, but we believe they are in fact Vietnamese who were involved in similar activities in Rwanda Ports in Africa.
“We have come to a point where we are demanding on the Solomon Islands Prime Minister and his Government to intervene and deal with our demand for the removal of Mr. Yow.”
The letter stated, in the support of this they have no choice but to plan to undertake the following actions;
1. Issue a general notice for its members throughout the country to undertake nationwide strike actions in support of our demand for the removal of Mr. Yow whom we believe has got a network both within and outside the country.
2. I therefore wish to put on notice, the leadership of the ITF, the President of Australian Council of Trade Union (ACTU), the New Zealand Council of Trade Union (NZCTU) and the President of Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) that we will be seeking the following supports from ITF and the MUA, if need be with regards actions in the areas;
a. Place an immediate ban on all the shipping services to Solomon Islands until Mr,Yow is removed; and
b. Place an immediate travel ban on individuals including some in the Solomon Islands Government and the business sector.
According to the letter, WUSI promised to send a full report of the issue to the ITF as soon as possible.
By BIRIAU WILSON SAENI