23 Nov 2005

New Caledonian employers to demonstrate over strike-related problems

7:24 pm on 23 November 2005

The Employers Federation in New Caledonia plans to hold a demonstration outside the French high commission in Noumea on Thursday, frustrated about ongoing strikes.

This comes amid an indefinite strike begun by one union ten days ago whose members keep disrupting traffic in the greater Noumea area.

The conflict has as its centre a demand that two workers sacked by the SLN nickel company be re-instated.

The Employers Federation had expressed its disquiet about the social climate in the territory two weeks ago.

Now its head, Jean Yves Bouvier, has told local television that they can take no more.

Mr Bouvier says they will take to the streets and ask the French state if it's normal in New Caledonia that the freedom of movement and the freedom to work are restricted.

SLN says the strike and blockades have cost it 40 million US dollars this year and to date police have not intervened.