30 Nov 2005

Unlimited general strike in French Polynesia over government reform

8:37 pm on 30 November 2005

Unions in French Polynesia will begin an unlimited general strike tomorrow after the government refused to drop its fiscal reform programme.

The umbrella group that covers about 80 percent of workers made the decision after last-ditch negotiations with President Oscar Temaru failed to produce an agreement.

A strike warning had been issued five days ago in a bid to get the government to abandon its project which involves raising social security contributions.

The head of government communications, Claude Marere, says the unions are opposed although everybody stands to gain from the reform.

And he says he believes the strike will not get much backing.

"Oscar said they're not sincere and he called workers to go to work and said the parents that their children can be sent to the school because there will always be someone, some people to take care of them."