12 May 2003

Union meetings due in New Caledonia over plan for general strike

2:04 pm on 12 May 2003

Union meetings are scheduled for this afternoon in New Caledonia to discuss plans for an unlimited general strike by public sector employees from tomorrow which is widely expected to affect schools.

The territory's daily newspaper says the workers are unhappy with the low number of contract workers being admitted to a local pension scheme.

Union leaders say a strike may difficult to avert because President Pierre Frogier and the minister in charge of the scheme, Pierre Maresca, are away.

One union leader, Joao d'Almeida, says the provisions are unacceptable and amount to a social setback.

He also says they have met Mr Maresca twice but the talks yielded no results.