8 Dec 2009

Firefighters right to strike in New Caledonia to be tested in court

2:36 pm on 8 December 2009

The New Caledonian federation of public sector employees says it plans to test in court last week's order of the French high commission that striking firefighters at the territory's international airport return to work to ensure a minimum service.

The federation has told the local newspaper that the use of such an order should be restricted to emergencies, like a cyclone.

The firefighters' strike over employment conditions prompted one flight to Japan to be abandoned.

The territory's government declared the strike illegal because no proper notice was given.

Flights appear to be assured until tomorrow when further industrial action is expected while the territory's government wants to alter the status of the firefighters.