29 May 2006

New Caledonia union says blockade of port will continue

8:11 pm on 29 May 2006

New Caledonia's Union of Kanak and Exploited Workers, USTKE, says it will continue to blockade the main port in Noumea until a large international sea freight company agrees to cut down its operations.

USTKE spokesperson, Pierre Chauvat, says the Mediterranean Shipping Company, MSC, is endangering local companies and dock workers' jobs.

The union has barricaded the main port in Noumea for ten days.

Mr Chauvat says they are currently negotiating with MSC.

"The best thing that can happen for everyone is that they leave the country. But now we have agreed that they would come. But only with a certain amount of containers to be dropped into the country, which is one hundred a week. One hundred a week is four hundred every month. And these containers have to be taken from Sofrana or PDL."

Mr Chauvat says they may decide to open the docks to local companies to enable them to resume work.