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Politics

Guadeloupe, Martinique: What the Strikers Obtained

Translated Saturday 21 March 2009, by Karen Grimwade

In Guadeloupe

Transport

- 20% reduction in fares on intercity public transport.

Price of water

- Cancellation of any incorrect bills issued between 2002 and 2007

Housing

- Drop in the price per m3:

Between 1.30 and 1.50 euros: 3% reduction excluding tax;

Between 1.51 and 2 euros: 5% reduction excluding tax;

Between 2.01 and 3 euros: 7% reduction excluding tax;

Above these amounts: 10% reduction.

- Commitment by the Government and relevant officials concerning the establishment of a single water agency.

Employment

- An emergency youth employment and training program will be put in place. Proposals have been made on the basis of a 30-million-euro budget aimed at employing, training and/or compensating at least 8,000 young people currently out of work.

Priority hiring for Guadeloupeans

- Commitments have been made and measures are currently being drawn up.

For example, the regional council has committed itself to ensuring that the number of Guadeloupeans working at the Fort-Royal Hotel will increase from 20 to 60 (out of a total of 80 employees) before the end of 2009.

Education

- Recruitment of 19 teachers.
- Commitment to granting tenure to 83 contract workers via an internal exam.
- 5 tenures to be granted at the vocational agricultural high school.

Exercising of union law, representativeness, industry-wide agreements

- The Labour and Employment Office has agreed to summon employers’ organisations and workers’ trade unions to a meeting.

Points subject to ongoing demands and discussions

Wages

- Extending the multi-industry agreement on a 200-euro pay raise for low-income workers to all businesses, since both MEDEF and the CGPME have refused to sign.

High cost of living

- Finalising of an agreement regarding lowering the cost of staple goods.
- Lowering the cost of bank products and services; access to credit and reduction in rates.
- Reduction in telephone costs and internet, new technology and EDF subscriptions; improvements in public postal services. A schedule for negotiations has been drawn up.

In Martinique

- Deep price reduction on 100 different products.
- Drop in the price of fuel.
- Rise in housing aid, in line with France.
- Freezing of rents in subsidised housing (cancellation of January’s increase).
- Monitoring of price setting.

Points subject to ongoing demands and discussions

- Finalisation of the multi-industry agreement concerning a 200-euro pay rise.
- List of products which will see a 20% price drop.
- Increased pensions and social minimums.
- Lowered price of water, gas, electricity, telephone, internet, construction materials, spare parts and transport.
- Preferential transport fares for students, unemployed or handicapped people.
- Cancellation of bank fees charged during the strike.
- Priority hiring for inhabitants of Martinique.
- Blocking vacant positions in education for young inhabitants of Martinique working as contract or substitute teachers.
- Schooling adapted to local conditions in Martinique.


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