Clashes in New Caledonia as filth break up USTKE strike

There have been clashes in New Caledonia as riot police dislodged a strike picket at a Noumea bus depot.

Police tried to disperse members of the USTKE union in the early hours of this morning for illegally occupying land that belongs to the southern province next to the Carsud bus company.

An USTKE leader, Gerard Jodar, says police used tear gas to chase away the unionists, with about a dozen of them suffering injuries.

Local radio says police made 50 arrests.

Clashes have continued and reports say several vehicles, including some belonging to the police, have been burnt.

The violence has caused disruption to the traffic in the area, with protestors blocking the toll road out of the city.

The strike was launched to demand the reinstatement of a sacked Carsud employee.

The French high commissioner, who is responsible for public safety, commented on the Carsud strike and described the methods used by the USTKE union as hooliganism.

Yves Dassonville has told local radio that the authorities have moved to restore order and will provide their information to the French prosecutor.


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