23 Oct 2006

Strikes continue in French Polynesia

6:34 am on 23 October 2006

The groups on strike in French Polynesia have threatened further, unspecified action after talks to settle their dispute with the government have reached deadlock.

The O Oe To Oe Rima union, members of the dissolved GIP intervention force and some bus owner/drivers have maintained road blocks on three of Papetee's five access routes as part of a campaign launched ten days ago in protest at high prices.

But talks have been abandoned after government ministers insisted on dealing with each of the groups separately - a demand rejected by the protesters, who accused the ministers of wanting to divide them.

The French high commission had asked the strikers to lift some of the illegal road blocks after Papeete was sealed off and the government urged the French state to do its duty in upholding the law.

Last week, the union leader, Ronald Terorotua, said no new road blocks would be set up but he said he would get support from outer islands.