27 Sep 2006

Talks to end New Caledonian general strike fail

7:26 pm on 27 September 2006

Negotiations between the New Caledonian government and the CSTNC union to end a general strike have failed.

The strike began on Monday and has disrupted many areas of public life.

Most petrol stations have run out of fuel as access to the main fuel depots have been blocked, which could hit public transport, including air travel soon.

Industrial bakeries re-opened today after Noumea's shops had no more bread.

Union members are blocking the Goro Nickel headquarters in Noumea and the ferry transporting Goro workers to the construction site.

The government had a meeting with the union earlier today, but the minister of economic development, Didier Leroux, says the demands were unacceptable and inapplicable.

"We are facing a political movement, which is hiding behind a union. The conclusion of the meeting we had, the union was asking for the resignation of the government, which shows pretty much how political is the issue the union is fighting for."

Didier Leroux