29 Sep 2006

New Caledonian leaders to act over alleged hate speech

1:33 pm on 29 September 2006

New Caledonia's main party, the Future Together, says it will lodge a complaint against a union leader for alleged race hatred.

The move is aimed at the leader of the CSTNC union, Sylvain Nea, who has been demanding the immediate removal of all Filipino workers employed by the Goro Nickel company in the territory's south.

Mr Nea says the hundreds of Filipinos are not restricted to doing specialist jobs but perform other work which could be done by New Caledonians.

His union has been on a general strike since Monday, demanding also lower fuel prices and the government's resignation.

The president of the territory's Congress and Future Together politician, Harold Martin, has told local television that the campaign against the Filipinos is unacceptable.

"We'll lodge a complaint with the prosecutor of the republic. I would like to remind you that these are crimes that are punishable with imprisonment. The move of the union is a political one, everybody understands that. If you blockade bakeries, what's that good for? Will that help the people?"

Harold Martin