16 Sep 2013

Fiery New Caledonia union leader dies

1:26 pm on 16 September 2013

A New Caledonia union leader, Gérard Jodar, has died in Noumea aged 61.

Mr Jodar emerged as a fiery unionist in the 1970s and joined the powerful USTKE union in the early 1980s.

He became president of USTKE in 2000 and led a rise in industrial action in the territory such as port blockades and protests.

In 2009, Gérard Jodar was jailed for a year for his role in clashes stemming from industrial action at Noumea's domestic airport.

The following year, Mr Jodar was replaced as UTSKE president by Marie- Pierre Goyetche, and went on to found a new union, the STP, or National Confederation of Workers of the Pacific.

He succumbed to an illness in Noumea on Saturday.