Article published on the 2009-02-28 Latest update 2009-02-28 19:06 TU
LPK union leader Elie Domota (2nd L) signs an agreement with two employer groups, Pointe-a-Pitre, Feb. 26, 2009.
Photo: REUTERS/Gilles Petit
Some four thousand demonstrators turned out in the Place de la Nation in the east of Paris on Saturday, according to organisers, and three thousand according to police, in a show of solidarity for the people of the French West Indies.
The main French employers' representative body, the Medef, along with seven other employers' associations, have said they would not sign an agreement under which wages in the two French overseas departments would be increased by 200 euros. The French government has said it would subsidise the pay rise to help employers.
The protesters in Guadeloupe signed a wage deal but did not call an end to a five-week-long strike that has paralysed the island. The strike in nearby Martinique has been going on for 22 days.Liliane Bino, the sister of Jacques Bino, a trade unionist who was killed in Guadeloupe by unidentified gunmen during unrest in Point-à-Pitre last week, told the crowd in Paris on Saturday, that her brother, "had not died for nothing, he died for a struggle."
The cost-of-living protests in the two French islands in the Caribbean have sparked interest among French far-left politicians notably, former spokesperson for the Lutte Ouvrière Arlette Laguiller, and Olivier Besancenot, spokesperson for NPA, who were both at the demonstration. Besancenot had gone to Guadeloupe himself last week.
He says that "many people there are turning to the LKP union group to solve their problems of daily life, and not their local politicians."
2009-02-28 10:39 TU
2009-02-25 07:44 TU