Thousands of workers in Papua New Guinea will reportedly proceed with a planned strike scheduled for Friday, October 26, despite warnings from government officials that it violates their employment contracts. While the Police Commissioner affirmed the workers' right to strike, protests and political rallies are not authorized, and authorities advised participants to "stay home." The strike, which has faced criticism from the largest trade union in the country, the PNG Trade Union Congress, is supported by various public and private sector unions, and is likely to cause widespread business and transportation disruptions. A large contingent of security personnel will be deployed nationwide and clashes between striking workers and police cannot be ruled out.
The strike is scheduled to take place in protest against the government's purchase of millions of dollars worth of luxury cars for the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit (November 17-18). This is the first time Papua New Guinea will host such a high-profile event, which represents high economic stakes for the country.
Port Moresby has very high rates of violent crime and carjackings, muggings, rape, and kidnappings are common occurrences.
Individuals in Papua New Guinea are advised to exercise heightened caution at all times, maintain a low profile, and conduct road travel with security support. Abide by all instructions issued by local authorities.
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