Teachers Join Guadeloupe General Strike
French Riot Police have been Sent to Guadeloupe
Teachers have been taking part in a general strike on the island of Guadeloupe against rising prices and declining living standards as a result of the eonomic crisis
There have been similar actions on the island of Martinique. Both Guadeloupe and Martinique are under the jurisdiction of France and French President Sarkozy has sent his minister for Internation Affairs to try and resolve the situation. The strike has been lead by the Collective Against Extreme Exploitation and includes 47 unions including the teaching unions. Both Guadeloupe and Martinique are much poorer than France. In Guadeloupe unemployment is at 20% and prices are twice as high as they are in France. The French government has also sent hundreds of armed riot police (CRS) to Guadeloupe, prompting memories of a massacre in 1967 when 100 citizens of Guadelopue were killed by French forces during a building workers' strike.
The strike has the support of the majority of the half a mmillion population of the island with 65,000 joining a demonstration in Pointe a Pitre. Negotiations are ongoing with the French goverenment and some concessions have already been made in terms of higher wages and price cuts.