27 Oct 2006

End to five-week New Caledonia strike in sight

9:18 am on 27 October 2006

Reports from New Caledonia say after five weeks of blockades and protest marches, the end of the strike called by the CSTNC union may be in sight.

Union leaders met members of the New Caledonian Congress, and our correspondent says following three hours of discussions, the two sides seem to have reached an agreements to look into several of the union's demands.

The union is demanding action on several issues including the high cost of living, the departure of Filipino construction workers employed by the Goro Nickel mining company, the immediate construction of a nickel smelter in the Northern Province and the resignation of the government.

The Congress has indicated it will not follow-up on the last demand.

The CSTNC and the Congress will continue their meeting this morning.

At the same time, the union is planning a protest march in Noumea and its blockades are still in place at several mines in the north of the country.