26 Feb 2009

New Caledonian union plans Guadeloupe-style strike action

2:36 pm on 26 February 2009

The leader of New Caledonia's mainly Kanak USTKE union says it will launch a general strike similar to the prolonged stoppages that have paralysed the French Antilles.

Gerard Jodar has told the Nouvelles Caledoniennes newspaper that the strike will last a long time, and once the French state uses security forces, there will be clashes.

Mr Jodar says the 14-month-old industrial conflict at Carsud will see a new phase as the union will prevent the company from getting new buses next month.

He says there have been unfair dismissals at the company as there has been at the territory's international airline Aircalin which has seen action that has hampered operations at Tontouta airport.

The New Caledonian government has called for roundtable talks in two weeks to discuss economic and social issues in view of the unrest that has gripped some of France's overseas possessions.