1 Apr 2009

Air Caledonie bosses resign amid strike

3:12 pm on 1 April 2009

The director of New Caledonia's domestic airline, Air Caledonie, has resigned amid a strike by the mainly Kanak USTKE union in a bid to secure an open-ended contract for an airline employee.

William Ihage stepped down two weeks into the strike which has severely disrupted flights between Noumea and the Loyalty islands.

At the centre of the dispute is a union demand that a Kanak woman be given a better contract despite reports that she used confidential airline information for a private matter.

Mr Ihage, who is Kanak, was accused of not standing up for Kanaks.

His departure has prompted the head of the airline board, Nidoish Naisseline, to tender his resignation as well.

Mr Naisseline is a former president of the Loyalty Islands province and the leader of the pro-independence LKS Party.