8 Dec 2003

New Caledonia trade union holds congress in Noumea

4:58 pm on 8 December 2003

One of New Caledonia's main trade unions, the USTKE, is holding an important congress in Noumea.

During the three-day meeting, which opened this morning, members will discuss the union's objectives, management and future direction.

Tomorrow evening the union will host an international meeting where representatives of overseas labour movements, including Palestinian and Cuban unions, will be invited to speak.

But most of the attention is likely to be focused on Jose Bove, the leader of the French farmers' union Confederation Paysanne.

Earlier this year, Mr Bove, an anti-globalisation campaigner, was jailed in France for vandalising an American fast food outlet.

Mr Bove is a strong supporter of USTKE and the Kanak independence movement.