Posted at 22:32 on 13 July, 2008 UTC
The mainly Kanak USTKE union in New Caledonia says it will hold a one-day general strike tomorrow as 22 of its members are due in the court of appeal.
They were convicted in April to jail sentences for their role in the clashes with police in Noumea in January.
45 people were arrested during hours of clashes which left nine members of the security forces injured while more than 10 USTKE supporters were hurt when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to dislodge them.
Among those convicted for the incident is the union's president,Gerard Jodar who has told the local media that they are being taken to court because they no longer want to be part of talks seeking a social dialogue.
He also says pressure keeps building as a judicial probe has been launched into finding out who are behind the union's anti-state and anti-police comments on the internet.
TDF! Social dialogue….Absent?
whats follows is a web translation only
This Tuesday July 8, as of 4 hours of the morning the militants of the USTKE bound themselves on the hill of the Mount-Whetstone sheath where the stake of their comrades of TDF is. At 5 a.m. several tens of comrades are already present and certain activate themselves to heat the water of the breakfast. As each time, the traditional good mood of the workers is made feel and the accodances just like the jokes heat these heights, of the town of Noumea, swept, at dawn by a very cold wind.
After 7 a.m., it is more than one hundred of militants who slowly arrive and share the breakfast in front of the grids of company TDF closed for the occasion, by a human mass made up of the representatives of all the sectors of the USTKE.
Provocation, obstacle with the freedom of work, taken as an hostage of a company?
Such are criticisms opposed to the USTKE, usually by way of press, good number of good thinking in our Country, consolidated in their obsolete reflexion by a French State, whose local representatives are always avid of show of force.
The conflict of TDF following the example much of others carried out by the USTKE, is hopelessly simpler and in any case finds its explanation elsewhere than in these directed stereotypes.
During this time, with the Mount-Coffyn the regional director of TDF positions higher on the hill and does not finish any more abusing its GSM, inside its car with the entirely raised panes and in the total indifference of a magnifying crowd. It is 7:30 and with the sun which rises, the row of women USTKE not less militant grows bigger at sight of eye.
Why the blocking of this company by the USTKE this day there? Quite simply to challenge the local direction of TDF on the need for opening the discussions in a conflict where the comrades start the 4th week of strike. It is what the president of the organization to all the media present will hammer, vis-a-vis the police force arrived little before 9:00.
While at the same time all aspire to the social dialogue inside the companies, which is done in addition very well in much of enter they, including where the USTKE is majority. There exist hearths of resistance still too many, with the image of company TDF which do not hesitate to ridicule these aspirations however legitimate of the workers of this Country. It is all the paradox calédonien.
Indeed in the case of TDF, we have 5 technicians burdens some on 6 whom count the company for a total staff complement of 12 paid. That does not challenge less world, Mr. directing Tapping of the local subsidiary company, arrived since January of this year on the territory. This last passes twice a day in front of the strike picket where are present half of its employees. Certain strikers are close to about thirty years seniority in this company, and the owner who passes with his car without condescending to stop and even looking at them. As much to say that the contempt reigns on the hill of the Mount-Coffyn. One did not see appearing, would be only the shade, of the social dialogue so much desired by all and the State in particular.
The French State let us speak, in spite of the many interventions of president Gerard Jodar and several comrades of the USTKE of which strikers of TDF, to recall that the purpose of the action of this July 8 was principal to obtain guarantees on the opening of the meetings between the two parts. The order is given in total incomprehension to release the places.
It is 9:25 when which the first followed teargas grenades burst not the painful flash-ball which do not finish any more damaging the body of the workers of the USTKE. Soon all the hill of the Mount-Coffyn disappears under a thick white cloud from lachrymatory smoke, testifying again to the industrial relations policy in Kanaky of the representative of the French State, become expert as regards dispersion manu militari of the workers calédoniens, men or women of the USTKE in particular.
When the fog is dissipated gradually, on one of the highest hills of the town of Noumea, we approach the 10:30 and the hundred merry militants present the morning left room to several tens of grenades used which strew the ground in the street which passes in front of TDF, subsidiary calédonienne. The street is encircled by the trucks of the mobile guards and the vans of the national police force buckle all the district.
Assessment of the intervention as much muscular than useless of the police force, two wounded comrades including one seriously with the leg by the launching of a grenade and three arrests.
At the Valley-of-Shooting, sits of the USTKE, it is practically 11 hours when the group of demonstrators is reconstituted gradually. Again, like the many preceding times, testimonys fuse to denounce the free brutality of the GIPN and police force in particular. However, no burned automobile, no director attacked and not of confrontation, this morning of July 8 to the Mount-Coffyn, at most this law on the hot sites from which TDF profits still briskly and behind which takes refuge its regional director to slice the neck with the social dialogue in its company. That obviously with the complicity of Office of the High Commission of the French Republic in Kanaky. It is that the paradox calédonien, shouted high, the opposite of what one discreetly does on the ground. A behavior of the High commissioner of the Republic and the director of TDF in Kanaky that for our part we qualify the colonial one and that we will never cease denouncing.
Just like we will systematically denounce police violences against our comrades syndicated with due respect to the owner of the Ministry for the Interior. The judgments of our persons in charge and the President of our organization in particular, that we denounce, just like the procedures in progress against the person in charge of the communication of the USTKE could not prevent us from expressing us freely and in any case will never reach our determination to raise us against the arbitrary employers' one in certain companies calédoniennes including those, subsidiary of multinationals.
It is 1 p.m. with the Mount-Coffyn: the traditional blue cover of the comrades and the flag of the USTKE float again in front of company TDF, on this strike picket re-installed entirely in less than 3 a.m. after being destroyed. The determination it is also that.
Mr. Tapping will learn that this conflict will be solved only by one draft-agreement and that the sending of the police force will do nothing but push back the expiry!