11 Aug 2005

French Polynesian union says retention of GIP problematic

1:43 pm on 11 August 2005

A French Polynesian union leader, Cyril Legayec, says it is difficult to get employment for members of the GIP intervention force whose contracts expire.

When he returned to power last year, the former president, Gaston Flosse, hired several hundred people to join the GIP which is run from the presidency.

But Mr Legayec told RFO television that the retention of the GIP members is difficult because there has been no provision for them in the budget.

Earlier, a former GIP boss, Rere Puputauki, warned that there would be unprecedented blockades of the Tahiti port and airport if the new government failed to retain them.

The GIP, which was set up as a disaster relief unit, now has 1,300 members.

A review was launched by the new government after the GIP rebelled because they opposed the new head chosen for the group.