A spokesman for the New Caledonian movement to free the jailed USTKE unionists says he deplores the mistakes made during the three months of tensions before an agreement was reached between the union and the local airline Aircal.
Christian Tein says things wouldn't have gone so far if the New Caledonian government and the people in charge of the dispute had acted differently.
The settlement was delayed and was only achieved after repeated violent incidents.
Mr Tein says the current police repression is a sign that the choices New Caledonians have made about their future are being diverted.
He says there are inequalities in the territory, with locals struggling to find work.
"A lot of populations are still entering the country, and jobs in the country are directly negociated via internet, emails, while Pacific people in general seek work through job agencies."