Monday, 23 June 2008 7:06 AM

Exhaust All Dispute Resolution Avenues: SICCI

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) say that there are issues, which need to be looked at, raised by the current industrial dispute between Telekom workers and management.

"The area of greatest concern for the private sector is the fear that Trade Disputes Panel can compel company owners to dismiss management at the behest of employee groups.

"Whilst we recognize the rights of employees to collective bargaining, and to negotiate terms and conditions, the right and responsibility to hire management must ultimately lie with the investor," SICCI said in a statement.

SICCI went on to say that the Trade Disputes Panel have the power to force firms to reinstate workers who were proven to have been dismissed unfairly, which the Chamber does not disagree with in principle, but this power should not extend to the authority to dismiss workers, management or otherwise, against the wishes of the management.

"Management decisions and policy may come under the jurisdiction of Trade Disputes but the appointment of management should not," the SICCI said.

The Chamber could not comment on the validity of the grievances brought forward by the workers nor remark on the way in which the owners of Telekom and their management are handling the situation.

However, SICCI urges both parties to return to the process of dispute resolution through the Trade Disputes Panel and cease any industrial action taken to further their interests in the matter.

"All avenues of dispute resolution should be exhausted before drastic measures are taken," says SICCI.

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