6 Jan 2005

Teargas used as New Caledonia police break roadblock

9:23 am on 6 January 2005

Police in New Caledonia have used teargas to end a roadblock by factory workers in an industrial suburb of the capital, Noumea.

Fourteen people have been arrested after armoured police vehicles broke through a barrier of burning tyres, with strikers hurling petrol bombs and stones at them.

Staff on strike at the synthetic mould-making company, Rotocal, had been blocking access to the factory at Ducos for a fortnight.

The newspaper, Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, reports that negotiations to end the industrial action had failed by the time police moved in yesterday afternoon.

The union of Pacific workers is campaigning for salary increases for Rotocal staff and says it'll keep up its industrial action by other means.