ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Le LKP lance une nouvelle grève
by Rosa Moussaoui
Translated Saturday 15 January 2011, by Derek Hansonand reviewed by
The Guadeloupe collective issued a call for another unlimited general strike on Dec. 14 and condemned the non-respect of the March 2009 accord, skyrocketing prices, ballooning unemployment and anti-trade union repression.
One year and nine months after the impressive labor movement which mobilized the people of Guadeloupe for 44 days, the LKP collective has put the struggle against profiteering back in the public arena. Yesterday, the trade unions, associations, political parties and cultural movements which make up the LKP collective called for another unlimited general strike. Already on October 26, nearly 20,000 demonstrators marched in the streets of Pointe-à-Pitre to attack the infringements of the Jacques Bino accord of February 26, 2009 on the 200-euro wage hike for those earning low wages, and the infringements of the March 4, 2009 accord which ended the strike by ratifying, among other things, a drop in the prices of staple goods. The October 26 strike also affected Martinique and Guyane.
On Dec. 14, Guadeloupe demonstrators again marched in large numbers in the streets to condemn skyrocketing food and fuel prices, the government’s refusal to engage in dialogue, the anti-trade union repression, and especially the ballooning unemployment, with 60,000 people and nearly 60% of the youth on the island now unemployed. “For two years, the government has done everything to get around enforcing the accords which ended the conflict in 2009,” said Jean-Marie Nomertin, the general secretary of the CGTG trade union. “Only part of the accords have been respected, without the follow-up committee, which was to oversee respect of the accord, having been convened. And we fear that in January 2011 the government will end the share of the wage hike which it was to pay, in the form of an adjusted RSA, until February 2012,” when the bosses were to take on the totality of this pay raise for low-earning workers.
Guadeloup has remained the theater of intense labor conflict in both public services and in the private sector since the end of the long strike launched early in 2009 by the LKP. The conflict has been sharpened by the crisis, whose social effects on the island have been even more disastrous than in mainland France. This feeds not only fatalism but also a high level of discontent, which regularly finds expression in street protests. To continue the movement, the LKP is calling on “the whole of the people,” in the coming days, “to intervene directly, to discuss, to dialogue, and to debate” and to organize committees “at the workplace, in general assemblies, in the neighborhoods, in the towns for lyannaj a pawol (linked discussion)” in order to “bring out their most urgent demands and their aspirations for their own future.” The objective is to recreate the social impetus of 2009, which forced the Fillon government to back down.