RFO CHAIRMAN, UNION SIGN AGREEMENT TO END NEW CALEDONIA RADIO-TV STRIKE

NOUMÉA, New Caledonia (October 26, 2000 – Oceania Flash/SPC)---RFO (Réseau France Outremer) Chairman André-Michel Besse and USTKE (Union of Kanak and Exploited Workers) have signed an agreement allowing the French territory's radio and television stations to resume local broadcasting and permitting special coverage of the 8th Festival of Pacific Arts.

The agreement marks the end of three days of picketing, which prevented RFO from transmitting local radio and television programming.

Programming resumed late Tuesday.

USTKE demanded that some of their RFO-employed members be promoted, but Besse reiterated the position that more training, in some cases, remains necessary.

"This new agreement only speeds up an already existing training process within RFO, as well as the training plan for next year. There is no real change," a source within RFO said.

The 8th Festival of Pacific Arts opening ceremony, originally scheduled for Monday evening, has been re-scheduled to Thursday evening. Officials said the delay was caused by bad weather, including heavy rain and high winds.

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