23 May 2005

Strike hits New Caledonian capital

6:52 pm on 23 May 2005

Thousands of people in New Caledonia have marched in the streets of Noumea as part of a 24-hour general strike called by the Union of Kanak and Exploited Workers, or USTKE.

The union called the strike to defend employment preference for locals as well as what the union perceives as threats to its freedom to exercise its union rights.

The USTKE President Gérard Jodar has told local media that he believed in too many cases, companies preferred to recruit their workforce from overseas while locals were left out.

At the weekend, the action prompted several high schools and colleges to send their boarding students back home.

At the weekend, some international flights were affected by a strike of fire fighters in a separate dispute.