14 May 2003

Strike paralyses the government in New Caledonia

11:42 am on 14 May 2003

A strike by four public sector unions in New Caledonia has hit the territory's administration in Noumea.

The unlimited strike, which began on Tuesday in a dispute over pension entitlements, has paralysed the city administration, the treasury and the main post office.

The strike has also affected all high schools in the city as teachers joined the protest.

The Government has denounced the action but says it will take steps to safeguard retirement provisions.

The protest follows weeks of unsuccessful negotiations over provisions of the pension fund which last year had a deficit of 30 million US dollars.