25 Feb 2009

SLN cuts criticised by New Caledonia politicians

2:47 pm on 25 February 2009

New Caledonia's anti-independence Rassemblement-UMP Party has criticised the plans of the SLN nickel company to cut working hours in the face of the global economic crisis.

The party's leader, Pierre Frogier, says the measures announced by the territory's biggest private sector employer are an alibi for the company's mediocre competitiveness.

Mr Frogier says the current crisis has revealed SLN's critical situation and its strategic errors.

SLN has proposed a 10-percent cut in working hours while eliminating the jobs of those who retire, which could amount to about 200 positions a year.

Another party, Caledonia Together, has also denounced the SLN plan, accusing the company of cynicism in view of last year's record earnings of its parent company, Eramet.

Mr Frogier has also deplored the SLN move in view of the planned visit to Noumea of the French prime minister, Francois Fillon, in three weeks.