10 Jul 2009

New Caledonian parents' organisation says tensions remain over airline dispute

4:11 pm on 10 July 2009

A federation of school parents in New Caledonia, the UGPE, says tensions remain because the dispute between the USTKE union and the local airline Aircal hasn't been solved.

The UGPE co-ordinator, Jean-France Toutikian, says his group supports the USTKE, even though it had to ask the union to stop blocking schools during the conflict.

Mr Toutikian says the UGPE had made it clear to the parents that the origin of the school blockades was the refusal by Aircal to talk to trade unionists.

He says the USTKE sometimes uses the wrong methods, but does a good job for the people in New Caledonia.

"Sometimes they use methods that are not good. Shutting the schools is not a good solution. For all the other things that USTKE does, we agree. But we have the right to tell them 'be careful, don't touch the schools because it's the future of our children'."

Jean-France Toutikian