7 Jan 2005

Union members in New Caledonia face court over road clash

10:29 am on 7 January 2005

Fifteen union members in New Caledonia are expected to appear in court today after clashes with police who moved in to break up a roadblock.

Petrol bombs and stones were thrown on Wednesday as armoured vehicles sought to break the picket by striking workers outside a factory in Noumea.

The newspaper, Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes, reports the president of the union of Pacific workers, Olivier Moala, has spent another night in custody, along with fourteen others also arrested in the police operation.

Mr Moala faces charges of being part of an armed group, bearing arms against police, and hindering workers.

The Rotocal factory started work again yesterday after a two-week blockade.