23 Nov 2005

Talks over New Caledonia strike collapse

11:22 am on 23 November 2005

Talks between striking workers in New Caledonia and the SLN mining company have collapsed and Noumea has again seen massive traffic disruptions.

Reports on Monday said there was a tentative agreement to reinstate the two sacked workers following a meeting at the French high commission.

But the unionists' leader, Sylvain Nea, says they won't accept that the two have to wait until December 2007 to get their jobs back.

The workers resumed some of the blockdades of key access roads, using heavy machinery.

The Employers Federation has called on the French state to intervene and plan a demonstration outside the high commission tomorrow.

They say basic rights to freedom of movement are no longer guaranteed.

SLN says since August the disruptions, strikes and blockades have incurred the company losses of about 40 million US dollars.