New Caledonia Unions Threaten Strike Over Living Costs

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High import levies, energy costs, inadequate taxes cited

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 21, 2013) – The union movement in New Caledonia has threatened to start an unlimited general strike on May the 15th in protest at the high cost of living.

The umbrella group of unions wants the government to implement measures that have been agreed upon since its protest movement was formed nearly two years ago.

For a number of reasons, such as high import levies, inadequate taxation of capital, a lack of competition among wholesale distributors as well as high costs of transport and energy, the cost of living in the territory is far higher than in mainland France.

The movement has intermittently complained that only little steps have been taken to address the concerns.

Two years ago, 25,000 people took to the streets in an unprecedented territory-wide action to push for economic reforms.

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