25 May 2012

New Caledonia employers upset at reform process

1:37 pm on 25 May 2012

New Caledonia's employers are upset at the way unions and the government have gone about trying to curb the cost of living.

An accord on a range of measures is about to be signed and the employers say they wonder how any economic deals can be reached without them being consulted.

The employers organisation, Medef, says it wants a commission to be set up that includes all stakeholders in the economy.

This follows a call by the president of the territory's Congress, Roch Wamytan, to remove the indexed top-up of public sector salaries as a way of curbing the high cost of living.

He also called for a tax on top properties, an anti-trust law and a cap on the salaries of business leaders.

On Tuesday, about 1,000 people took to the streets in a protest march, with more action threatened should no substantive measures be announced within a week.

A year ago, unprecedented territory-wide mass rallies were held against the high cost of living, prompting commissions to be set up to deal with the challenges.