Original source: Workers in Guadeloupe rebuilt roadblocks on Monday and vowed to maintain their 35-day-old general strike after Paris went back on a pledge to boost the lowest-paid wages.

Representatives of the French government left the negotiating table after hours of talks with strike leaders, declaring that they were not prepared to meet the strikers’ demand for a 200 euros (£176) monthly raise for those making 900 euros (£794) a month.

Last week Prime Minister Francois Fillon vowed that Paris would make ‘support payments’ to low wage earners totalling almost 200 euros a month.

But, on Monday night, Guadeloupe Prefect Nicolas Desforges said: ‘The state doesn’t believe that it should finance or reimburse wage increases for private employers.’

Leaders of the Collective Against Exploitation (LKP), which is leading the strike, said that they had reached a tentative agreement with small business groups to meet half the requested raise, but that the rest would have to come from the government.

Protesters prepared to take the dispute back to streets where riots raged last week, pushing burnt-out cars back into intersections and erecting new roadblocks on major roads.

LKP activist Patrice Tacita said: ‘If they don’t want to talk, we will put the popular pressure on the streets and make them share their fortune with the people of Guadeloupe.’

The collective of unions and left-wing groups has a list of nearly 140 demands including the wage increase, covering issues from lowering the cost of imported goods and breaking up monopolies to environmental and judicial reform.

Comments

comments

MOST POPULAR