Protest in PNG Latest Updates

Protest in PNG Latest Updates: Private Sector Workers’ Protest Deemed Illegal

The Employers Federation of PNG has declared that any protest by workers, particularly those in the private sector, will be considered illegal since it has not been approved or sanctioned by the authorities. This statement was made in response to a stop-work notice that had been circulated on social media, urging employees not to go to work on the day of the planned protest.

The Federation’s executive director, Florence Willie, explained that they had not received any notice from government agencies such as the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations, Department of Personnel Management, or the police regarding the approval of the protest. According to her, the trade unions had also not informed them of their involvement in the protest, and in such cases, only union members could vote for industrial action and seek approval from the Industrial Registrar’s Office.

“We are not aware of any approval from the Industrial Registrar’s Office on this protest,” Willie said. “However, based on past experiences with protest marches, we advise employers to take all precautionary measures (on) the safety of their workers and the protection of their businesses and properties.”

The Employers Federation also urged businesses to ensure the safety of their workers and protect their properties in case the protest goes ahead.

Meanwhile, the police commander for the National Capital District and Central, Assistant Commissioner Anthony Wagambie Jr, said that they were not aware of any planned protest and that no individual or group had formally approached them to stage a protest. He emphasized that any protest or public gathering must have the approval of the police in consultation with the provincial peace and good order committee.

“I assure everyone that business will be as usual (today) and that police will be patrolling and showing presence around Port Moresby. Schools, businesses and government services are urged to continue as usual,” Wagambie said.

The protest was planned to express the private sector workers’ grievances over the economic issues affecting the country. However, with the Employers Federation and police stating that the protest is illegal, it remains to be seen whether the workers will proceed with their plans or not.

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