6 Jun 2006

General strike looms in New Caledonia over port dispute

3:53 pm on 6 June 2006

There is concern in New Caledonia that the dispute surrounding multi-national shipping companies at the port of Noumea could lead to a call for a general strike.

The USTKE union has been blocking the companies Maersk and MSC amid allegations that they could dominate the freight market and force other shipping companies out of the port.

A union leader, Gerard Jodar, has also accused the New Caledonian government of being irresponsible in urging France to have its security forces retake the port.

This comes as Noumea risks to be labeled a contaminated port for failing to observe new anti-terrorism provisions.