THE Workers Union of Solomon Islands (WUSI) has welcomed the termination of Mr. Collin Yow as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) and the appointment of Mr. Michael Wate as Interim CEO.
In a press statement today, WUSI President, David Tuhanuku, says that the twin actions taken by the current SIPA Board in sacking Mr. Yow and appointing an interim CEO represents a sensible step forward towards resolving the year-long SIPA dispute.
Mr. Tuhanuku said that the Union has every confidence in Mr Wate’s integrity and calibre to help the SIPA Board resolve the SIPA dispute. However Mr. Tuhanuku warns that any steps taken now to remove the entire SIPA Board would complicate and further escalate an already confused and messy dispute and we will hold the Government totally responsible if this dispute gets out of control.
The WUSI President said that we cannot underestimate the possibility of the YOW dispute getting out of hand given the fact that there are individuals who have got themselves involved in the dispute, when I see no logical reasons for them to get involved in the first place.
“As far as WUSI is concerned the SIPA dispute is an industrial dispute which began when Mr. Yow sacked thirty-one (31) local workers some of whom had worked for SIPA for up to 30 years, describing them as trouble makers. And this is for questioning why Yow had cut out many of their entitlements and benefits negotiated by the union over many years, when he (Mr. Yow) is drawing a basic tax-free salary of $4.4 Million per annum. As if this is not enough, Mr. Yow also went on to pay himself $4.7 million dollars bonus after spending only eight months in Honiara,” Mr. Tuhanuku said.
WUSI’s position is simply this. All the 31 sacked workers must be reinstated and if Mr. Yow has got a claim of $36 million in relation to his late termination and that is within his rights but let the court deals with that. While at the same time the Solomon Islands Government must come clean on its promise to investigate into how Yow had spent millions of SIPA funds, which are public funds, especially on second hand rice, noodles, and sea planes, as if SIPA is his private company, Mr. Tuhanuku said.
Source: WORKERS UNION OF SOLOMON ISLANDS (WUSI)