20 Jun 2006

Ship reportedly unloads cargo at port in New Caledonia despite strike action

10:06 am on 20 June 2006

A Maersk vessel has reportedly unloaded its cargo at the New Caledonian port of Noumea despite the USTKE union taking strike action.

The union is asking for a quota system for cargo being unloaded at the port in a bid to protect local companies from being forced out.

The USTKE representative, Pierre Chauvat, says the Maersk ship arrived on Saturday at the port which was heavily guarded by French police, and unloaded its cargo.

Mr Chauvat says the union called for a general strike on Saturday and supporters marched to the port.

Meanwhile, he says they expect to hear from an expert from the French Ministry of Transport today who has held talks with the union and that further negotiations will continue this week.