18 Jan 2018

New Caledonia OPT calls strike in protest at budget

7:51 pm on 18 January 2018

A strike has been called by unionised staff at New Caledonia's publicly owned OPT telecommunications company for next Tuesday when the budget is up for debate.

Telecommunications company OPT, New Caledonia

Telecommunications company OPT, New Caledonia Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The action is in protest at the government request for OPT to give $US 40 million of its operating funds towards its budget.

The OPT board is in discussions with the government about the bid but the union has called its members to gather outside the Congress on Tuesday to demand that the request be dropped.

It said the sum was astronomical and taking it out of OPT undermined a public service enterprise.

The union said the company was already one of the biggest tax payers and a main investor benefitting all of New Caledonia.

After pitching in millions into the budget in the past two years, the union said the OPT's ability to sustain itself was again being diminished.

The budget was due to be adopted last year but because there was no properly constituted government for three months last year a draft was not produced until this month.

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