2 Aug 2010

A violent standoff at the Wallis utility company continues

7:11 pm on 2 August 2010

The director of an embattled electricity and water supplier on the island of Wallis says the company's suspended its contract with authorities.

Yves Morault says EEWF is still under threat from a gang of strikers and the company can't maintain its plant.

Sally Round reports.

"Power and water are flowing to people in the French territory after months of problems but Mr Morault says it's a minimal service and the safety of staff is still under threat. The plant's general manager fled to EEWF in New Caledonia two weeks ago after an attack. Mr Morault says gang members have been burning tyres at the plant entrance and two technicians are under police protection to keep things going. Wallis businessman Louis Chardigny says people in the French territory fear a catastrophe and hundreds marched last Wednesday to show French authorities they want something done to ensure power and water's supplied."

The local government has been trying to hold round table talks on the issue.