NZ solidarity for Tongan strikers


New Zealand Education Institute-Te Riu Roa (NZEI) members have offered solidarity to support striking teachers, health workers and public servants in Tonga. Tonga's 1400 teachers are among the 3000 public servants who began a national strike four weeks ago after low-paid government workers — who earn as little as A$40 a week — received pay rises as low as 1%. The NZEI has donated NZ$1000 to the striking workers. On August 17, police arrested more than 200 angry students from Tonga College who protested against the government's transfer of their principal and head tutor due to their participation in the strike. Meanwhile, hundreds of strikers and their families are occupying Pangai Si'i, a public park opposite Tonga's national parliament, after breaking through a police cordon on August 12. They physically resisted police attempts to evict them. A court ruling on August 13 blocked further government and police moves to evict the strikers.

From Green Left Weekly, August 24, 2005.
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