2 Jun 2008

French Minister promises action to improve industrial relations in New Caledonia

7:36 pm on 2 June 2008

The French government's Overseas Minister, Yves Jego, who is visiting New Caledonia, says he wants to revive the dialogue between economic and political stakeholders, and the territory's unions.

Tensions surrounding industrial disputes in New Caledonia flared again last week, as Mr Jego's talks were disrupted by a demonstration that resulted in violent clashes between French police and members of the USTKE union.

Mr Jego later condemned USTKE's actions, but says his door is basically open to all unions in New Caledonia.

The Minister says he wants to create all the conditions to accelerate industrial dialogue.

He has called for a comprehensive agreement at the end of this year covering local employment, salary upgrades, the financing of union organisations and conflict prevention and settlement mechanisms.