17 Jan 2005

New Caledonia firefighter strike costs airlines

2:32 pm on 17 January 2005

A strike by firefighters at New Caledonia's international airport is reported to have cost airlines huge sums because of a number of delays.

The Nouvelles Caldoniennes newspaper reports that there have been no cancellations in the month-long strike because the French high commission has ordered some firefighters to work.

The strike is over a range of conditions, but there is no end in sight as no new negotiations are scheduled.

The striking workers say they don't want to block passengers and airlines have rescheduled flights to operate when coverage is guaranteed.

But according to the local newspaper, this has led to airlines having additional costs for re-imbursing passengers, paying staff for extra hours and incurring additional airport fees.