9 Nov 2004

Gaston Flosse government in French Polynesia hopes general strike will be peaceful

8:33 am on 9 November 2004

The Gaston Flosse-led Government in French Polynesia says it believes a general strike called for early this week will be peaceful.

The strike has been called by the territory's second largest union, led by a member of the now ousted coalition government led by Oscar Temaru.

The union says the 24-hour strike, to begin at midnight Monday local time, is over a breakdown in minimum pay talks and will involve members of the hotel and transport sectors.

Mr Flosse's Labour Minister, Jean Christophe Bouissou, says keeping the peace, if necessary, will be the role of gendarmes under orders from the High Commissioner.

But Mr Bouissou says he is not expecting any trouble.

"We are expecting that these people organising this strike will just stay under the strike law and not disturb vehicles on the roads, and the problem of the airport, and other kinds of things that we saw in the past through Mr Oscar Temaru."

Mr Bouissou says he will resume talks tomorrow with employers over the issue of the proposed minimum wage increase.