11 Feb 2014

USTKE demonstrates against New Caledonia tax bill for SMSP

9:55 pm on 11 February 2014

Unionists in New Caledonia have held a demonstration outside the government building in Noumea in protest at a tax bill given to the SMSP nickel company.

About 200 members of the mainly Kanak USTKE union, using about 30 trucks, have warned that reclassifying SMSP as a financial holding company could cost 1,200 jobs.

The action comes after SMSP was given a 57 million US dollar bill at a time of a depressed nickel market.

One union leader says the policy is aimed to kill off SMSP as the pro-independence Kanaks' company.

SMSP has lodged a challenge against its reclassification in court.

Formed in 1990, SMSP is a majority shareholder in the huge Koniambo plant set up with Glencore of Switzerland while building a plant with Posco in South Korea.