2 Dec 2005

More blockades in New Caledonia as strikes continue

4:23 pm on 2 December 2005

There have been more blockades in New Caledonia where a three-week general strike is close to forcing the SLN nickel company to shut down its smelter.

Talks are underway in Noumea to avert a shutdown of the furnaces which could happen within a day if there is no more ore to process.

The CSTNC union has this week blocked Noumea's main bakeries and banks.

A local radio journalist, Brigitte Whaap, says the main industrial district was closed today as well.

"And today, in the industrial area called Ducos, all is closed by the union. No worker can go inside the industrial area today. That happened this morning."

Ms Whaap says many roads are still closed, causing further disruptions.