12 Oct 2006

New Caledonian nickel miner says it is still trying to negotiate with union over strike

7:12 pm on 12 October 2006

The New Caledonian SLN mining company says it will continue to negotiate with the CSTNC union whose strike action is affecting the enterprise.

The union called a strike nearly three weeks ago and is demanding that the government resign and hundreds of Filipino workers employed by Goro Nickel leave.

The union is concentrating its action mainly on the nickel sector, and the SLN company has been a target for almost two weeks, although it employs no Filipinos.

SLN's general manager, Pierre Alla, says it will continue to talk to the union and all other parties involved.

"The other option might be to call the police in, that's a decision that the French state may take. It is also a risky solution. At this point in time we are up to negotiating, but maybe tomorrow we will have a different way to tackle the problem."

Mr Alla says the entrance to the plant is partly blocked, forcing it to run emergency services only.

It has enough ore left to keep the plant operating for about a week.