24 Aug 2004

Air Calin ordered to pay in dismissal case

4:22 pm on 24 August 2004

New Caledonia's international carrier has been ordered to pay a flight attendant 160-thousand US dollars for unfair dismissal.

A court in Noumea found that Air Calin committed an abusive and discriminatory breach of an employment promise when it failed to keep Bruno Van Peteghem employed.

The Nouvelles Caledoniennes newspaper says Mr Van Peteghem had been based in New Caledonia while working for Air France.

With the withdrawal of Air France from the Tokyo to Noumea leg, Air Calin took over the service and agreed to take on all the staff affected by the change.

However, Air Calin left out one employee and that was Mr Van Peteghem.

He had been known in Noumea as an activist for environmentalist issues and in 1999 his house was destroyed in a fire whose cause was never established.

Air Calin is yet to say whether it will appeal.