5 Oct 2006

New Caledonia strike slows Noumea traffic

5:15 pm on 5 October 2006

A strike in New Caledonia which is in its 11-day is again affecting the public in Noumea.

Striking miners in gigantic trucks used to transport ore drove into the city at a snail's pace early this morning causing major traffic jams.

The CSTNC is protesting against a range of issues, including the hiring of Filipino workers by Goro Nickel for a local mining project, the high cost of living, and the delay in construction of a nickel plant in the north of the territory.

The congestion continued throughout the morning and into the afternoon as the trucks drove through the city streets.

Last week, motorists were affected by petrol shortages after the union blocked access to the main fuel depots.

The public was also deprived of bread for three days when the union blocked the country's main industrial bakeries.

Since the end of last week the strike has mainly affected the nickel mining sector.

The union is scheduled to meet the department of labour and Goro Nickel management tomorrow to discuss the hiring of the Filipino workers.