23 Apr 2009

18-month-old New Caledonia bus strike settled

1:10 pm on 23 April 2009

A long-running strike at New Caledonia's Carsud bus company has been settled.

The president of the southern province, Philippe Gomes, and the leader of the USTKE union, Gerard Jodar, are reported to have agreed on the terms to end the 18-months long dispute that affected thousands of commuters in the Noumea area.

The strike was over the sacking of some staff who are now to be re-employed.

Last year, the conflict led to hours of clashes which left nine members of the security forces injured while more than 10 USTKE supporters were hurt when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to dislodge them.

Several cars were burnt, including police vehicles.

22 union supporters were subsequently jailed.