18 Oct 2006

Police in New Caledonia arrest 48 after port clash

8:10 pm on 18 October 2006

French police in New Caledonia have arrested 48 people in a strike-related incident at the port.

Members of the CSTNC union, who have been on strike for nearly four weeks, tried to prevent a boat belonging to the Goro Nickel project from leaving Noumea.

Police intervened as the crowd began damaging the vessel and made the arrests.

The French high commission says a policeman was injured in the operation.

Some of the strikers then moved to the Goro Nickel headquarters.

The CSTNC strike has mainly affected the nickel sector, with SLN being forced to cut production.

The union wants the hundreds of Filipinos employed by Goro to leave the territory, the government to resign and talks to be held on building a nickel smelter in the north of New Caldonia.