General Secretary of the Solomon Islands National Union of Workers (SINUW), Tony Kagovai, in a recent press conference, stated that they have reasons to believe that the Gold Ridge Mining Limited has not respected basic rights of its workers.Mr. Kagovai said that a former employee of the company has brought two issues to their attention, one of unfair dismissal and another of intimidation and racial discrimination at the work site.
"We will ask the commission of labor to go and do a thorough investigation at the site in relation to assault and racism," said Mr. Kagovai. "We will also ask the police to look into the allegations of intimidation and abuse."
Mr. Kagovai said that as for the unfair dismissal of one of its senior employee, the matter will be carried forward to the trade dispute panel and then to the high court.
Mr. Kagovai said the employees are members of SINUW and they have applied for recognition but the company has continuously refused to give them due recognition.
"While the issue of recognition is still before the Trade Dispute Panel we will still work to ensure that workers of the company are protected," said Mr. Kagovai.
Mr. Kagovai stressed that the issues "are allegations which only the police, the labor division and the courts can prove after investigations are carried out."
"If the allegations are true I will be really surprised...because for an Australian Company, who in their country believe in the Law and in the Democratic System, who respects and uphold the rights of employees, are doing such things in Solomon Islands," Mr. Kagovai said.