19 Dec 2005

Union blockades in New Caledonia called off

3:22 pm on 19 December 2005

Unionists in New Caledonia have ended a series of blockades, including on the access route to the Goro Nickel plant in the south of the territory.

Members of the Caugern and USTKE unions put up the Goro blockade last week but returned to work this morning.

Caugern wants guarantees from the Goro Nickel company owner, Inco, over the environmental and social impact of the plant on the local population.

USTKE wants guarantees from France that the proposed nickel project in the north at Koniambo will go ahead.

Meanwhile, the Caugern leader, Kanak campaigner Raphael Mapou, says his people are determined to make the president of the southern province, Philippe Gomes, respond to their concerns..

"'This morning the blockade is finished. They go to work. But we say then, we have to stop your work next month, because the president of the province doesn't do his work very good. His work is not good."

Raphael Mapou