17 Aug 2011

New Caledonia unions relook at demonstration date to avoid Sarkozy clash

3:19 pm on 17 August 2011

Unions in New Caledonia are reconsidering their plans for a general strike to coincide with the visit of the French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

The unions, concerned about the high cost of living, had called for another demonstration and a general strike on August the 26th - the day Mr Sarkozy is due in Noumea for the opening of the Pacific Games.

Sylvain Meallet, who's a spokesperson for Forces Ouvrieres, one of the six unions involved, says they're meeting this evening to debate the plan.

"We want to avoid completely the risk of violence and anything wrong that could happen. It's not the target of the unions. We just want to get lower prices, clearer taxes because we don't know how the taxes are made up now."

Sylvain Meallet says the unions also want to avoid any demonstration clashing with the Pacific Games.