12 Oct 2009

New Caledonian court hears French state should be responsible for damage by unionists

6:35 am on 12 October 2009

A New Caledonian court has been told that the French state should be held responsible for the damage caused to a bus company by disgruntled unionists.

Noumea's daily newspapers says legal experts say the authorities should be financially liable for failing to prevent last year's action by USTKE unionists, who damaged property worth tens of thousands of dollars.

The legal expert said the authorities had been advised of the strikers intention at the Carsud company but didn't try to stop their actions.

The security forces only intervened after about 200 unionists had seized the premises.

In the ensuing clashes, nine members of the security forces injured while more than 10 USTKE supporters were hurt.

Several cars were burnt, including police vehicles.

22 union supporters were subsequently jailed.