11 Jan 2019

SLN strike in New Caledonia enters second week

4:09 pm on 11 January 2019

A strike at two mining sites of the nickel company SLN in New Caledonia has entered its second week.

SLN smelter in Noumea New Caledonia

SLN smelter in Noumea New Caledonia Photo: RNZ Walter Zweifel

Two unions oppose changes to work patterns introduced as part of a restructure of SLN, which is running at a loss.

The mines in Thio and Tiebaghi have been hit by the stoppage since last week and workers at the Nepoui site joined the action this week.

The changes, which had been agreed to last year, entail longer hours but fewer days of work and more pay.

According to SLN, this change optimises the use of its equipment.

The new work regime has been in force at SLN's mine at Kouaoua.

That site was hit by a blockade last year which interrupted ore supplies to the SLN smelter in Noumea.

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