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COVID-19 : Over 10,000 Workers in PNG lose job


PNG Trade Union Congress has declared the application of the government’s State of Emergency as discriminatory towards the private sector workforce during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Public servants are well looked after by the government, who is the biggest employer of PNG workers in the country; unfortunately it’s not the same for workers in the private sector who are struggling,” said PNGTUC General Secretary Clemence Kanau.

He said more than 10,000 workers in the private sector have been laid off from their jobs and the numbers keep climbing by the day; a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These workers contribute to the tax envelop of the government of this country yet no attention is given to their wellbeing. It's sad to say that the SOE orders and directives do not realize the impacts of covid-19 on the private sector.”

Mr Kanau said workers in the private sector are at the whims of their companies. He said PNGTUC appreciates and gives respect to the various companies who continue to keep PNG workers in employment.

“Our government has not given clear directives as to how they can be able to recoup any form of financial assistance to private sector companies who are willing to keep their employees employed.”

He said the government must take heed.
“Is there a stimulus package to assist the private sector?” Kanau asked.

He said TUC has done its bit to communicate with its various employer unions as the responsible organization in the Trade Union Movement.

“PNGTUC however applauds the government for taking bold steps initially to address the Covid-19 pandemic and put in place control measures to keep safe PNG citizens.”


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