EMPLOYEES of Solomon Water are demanding the removal of their expatriate finance and administration manager and reinstatement of two local female workers terminated early this month.
The demands were contained in a 28-day strike notice Workers Union of Solomon islands (WUSI) issued on behalf of the workers to the board and management of Solomon Water yesterday.
WUSI general secretary Tony Kagovai said the strike notice was in support of the workers’ demand for Australian Debbie Johnself to be removed at once.
Ms Johnself is engaged under the Australian government’s funding assistance to Solomon Water.
But workers accused her of having a “no care” attitude towards her local colleagues.
“Local workers have accused Ms Johnself of having a very strong influence over the SIWA board and its general manger,” Mr Kagovai said.
“They also Ms Johnself of using that strong influence as finance and administration manager to micromanage Solomon Water, which is not good for the organization,” he added.
Mr Kagovai said he issued the strike notice after organising a general meeting of Solomon Water local employees in Honiara on Monday, which was attended by 106 employees and during which a secret ballot was also conducted.
“During the secret ballot, 105 employees voted in favour of issuing the strike notice while only one person voted against the resolution.
“The outcome of the secret ballot speaks of the strong resentment the Solomon Water workers have against Ms Johnself of taking a ‘No Care’ attitude towards local workers over issues that seriously affect the workers.
“There have also been accusations of questionable financial decisions taken made by Ms Johnself which can only be looked at by an independent investigation,” Mr Kagovai said.
Attempts to talk to Solomon Water board chairman Phil Bradford last night were not possible.
Comments will be sought from him today.
By LESLEY SANGA