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French Caribbean

Deal in Martinique, strike goes on

Article published on the 2009-03-03 Latest update 2009-03-03 14:18 TU

A march in Fort-de-France, Martinique, 2 March 2009.(Photo: AFP)

A march in Fort-de-France, Martinique, 2 March 2009.
(Photo: AFP)

Despite deals signed to raise salaries by 200 euros on Saturday in Guadeloupe and Monday night in Martinique, the two French departments in the Caribbean are still at a standstill more than seven weeks after the beginning of a general strike.

After more than 10 hours of negotiations between the strikers, employers and the government, a tentative deal was struck in Martinique late Monday, guaranteeing the same salary raise that was offered in Guadeloupe last week: 200 euros for everyone who makes less than about 1,500 euros per month.

The deal comes into force retroactively from 1 March, Ange Mancini, the Prefect of Martinique said Tuesday.

But neither deal has brought the strikes to an end. Following the lead of Guadeloupe, strikers in Martinique said that they will only consider returning to work once prices on staples were brought down.

The Martinique strike collective intends to stay “mobilised until the negotiations are finished,” calling for the strike to continue until a price deal is achieved.

In Guadeloupe, following the signing of their deal on Saturday, the strike leaders working with the LKP have been going “business to business” to get individual employers to sign the deal.

The employers have been warned by their representatives not to do so if there is any threat of physical violence or intimidation.