19 Dec 2005

Roadblock renewed for Goro Nickel site in New Caledonia

7:22 am on 19 December 2005

Striking unionists in New Caledonia have put up a fresh roadblock on the access route to the Goro Nickel plant in the south of the territory.

About 30 members of the Caugern and USTKE unions scattered on Thursday when 1-hundred gendarmes advanced and levelled their guns in preparation to fire.

The company was able to secure machines, trucks and fuel at the site, after the blockade cost it nearly a million US dollars a day and forced it to send an unspecified number of workers home.

The newspaper, Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, reports members of the Caugern union, led by the Kanak campaigner, Raphael Mapou, have now set up a new barricade further down the Goro access road.

Caugern wants guarantees from the Goro Nickel company owner, Inco, over the environmental and social impact of the plant on the local population.

USTKE wants guarantees from France that the proposed nickel project in the north at Koniambo will go ahead.