30 Nov 2005

Last-ditch talks in French Polynesia to avert general strike

4:27 pm on 30 November 2005

Talks are being held in French Polynesia this afternoon in a bid to avert an unlimited general strike which has been called from midnight tonight.

A group of unions is to hold last ditch negotiations over a fiscal programme with President Oscar Temaru who has returned from a weekend trip to the United States.

The unions object to social security fee increases that are part of the government's reforms.

A meeting last night with the vice president, Jacqui Drollet, ended without any breakthrough.

The head of the CPS social security organisation, Marcel Ahini, has held a news conference and restated that he will resign at the end of the week if the government maintains its reform plan.

He says he cannot oversee the demise of the CPS after having built it.

Mr Ahini alleges that the reform is a bid by the government to win control of the CPS assets of nearly half a billion US dollars.