12 Jun 2009

USTKE ends New Caledonia airline strike

10:15 am on 12 June 2009

New Caledonia's mainly Kanak USTKE union has ended its general strike after saying it signed an agreement to settle its grievance with the domestic carrier, Air Caledonie.

The deal, which follows talks with mediators, is yet to be signed by the airline management but the union leadership says the dispute is over.

Air Caledonie refused to negotiate pay for the days workers were on strike and it's not known what the settlement entails.

The strike this week led to serious disruptions, with many petrol stations running out of fuel.

Late last month, USTKE activists battled police for several hours in a failed bid to seize Noumea's domestic airport which led to delays and cancellation of flights territory-wide.

Several of its members, including its president, are due in court next week to be tried for impeding air traffic.