2 Dec 2005

French Polynesia unions threaten blockades in territorial capital

10:21 am on 2 December 2005

Unions in French Polynesia have threatened unspecified blockades in Papeete after the government again refused to abandon its fiscal reform package during yesterday's negotiations at the presidential palace.

A group of unions are now in the second day of an indefinite general strike aimed at forcing the government to drop a small levy imposed on higher salaries.

They say their action may disrupt today's scheduled budget debate at the assenmbly.

Yesterday, an estimated 3,000 people joined an anti-government rally but most employees in the private sector ignored the unions' strike call.

Subsequent talks with the government failed to shift any positions.

The opposition has declined any comment about the strike of the unions whose spokesman is a top official in a ministry.