The French CGT union has called on the government to stop its operations against New Caledonian unionists detained for two weeks.
"The union's head, Bernard Thibault [ bare-nar tee-baw ], has written to the interior minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, asking her to release the New Caledonian unonists who were arrested after clashes in Noumea last month."
Mr Thibault says some of members of the USTKE union have been exposed to police violence while others have faced brutal searches at their homes.
He says those still in detention should be let go and the legal action against them abandoned.
The clashes followed a strike at a Noumea bus depot launched a month ago in protest at the sacking of a worker.