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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, July 29) - Police in New Caledonia armed with batons and shields have moved onto the Nouméa wharf to break up a five-day union blockade.

The blockade had prevented the unloading of several shiploads of cargo.

One ship, container carrier Sofrana d'Urville, which arrived from Australia at the weekend, had been unable to dock and offload items including food and dairy products.

New Caledonia’s Kanak and Exploited Workers Union was refusing to allow anybody access to the wharves in protest against recent moves by shipping companies to consolidate their operations by replacing two ships with one.

The police acted after a court ordered that the blockade be lifted.

The Sofrana d’Urville and another ship from French Polynesia that had been held up have since been unloaded.

July 30, 2004

Radio Australia:

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