Post Courier | October 4, 2017
Aggrieved workers from the Tolukuma gold mine in Central Province converged on the Petromin building in Port Moresby yesterday to vent their frustrations over outstanding salaries owed to them by their employer.
More than 400 mine workers and their families are affected – an estimated 80 percent of them locals from Goilala and 20 percent from outside the mine area.
With bills mounting including rentals and school fees, loan repayments to make with the commercial and landlords and loansharks on their case, they say this was too much to take.
To add salt to the wound, the fact that they had been given the runaround by their management on the numerous trips made to their headquarters, with the answer: “check next week”.
Clearly irate and very aware that there could be ramifications if they went public with their grievances, they decided to bite the bullet.
Spokesperson, Tera Kalak, told reporters their request to the company was simple, to be paid what is rightfully owed to them, and in cash.
“Effectively, we are owed payments for eight fortnights. It was ten, but the company gave advances, and this was recouped from two payments they made.
“We have given service to the company, and all we are asking is for the company to honour their end of the bargain and pay us.
“The laws of our country state we must be paid fortnightly,” Mr Kalak said.
He had appealed not just to the National Government, but relevant state agencies including the Labour Department, to intervene on this matter.
He said failing that, the workers would have no other choice except to seek legal advise on this matter.
A management representative, in a brief email to the Post-Courier, had advised that the company is awaiting funds from its headoffice.
“The target date is tomorrow, October 4, 2017,” the manager said.