3 Dec 2005

French Polynesia capital cut off after strike talks fail

8:27 am on 3 December 2005

Striking unionists in French Polynesia have thrown up a roadblock in the territorial capital, Papeete, and they're not letting cars or lorries through.

Members of the presidential intervention group are blockading the port.

Demonstrators are expected to gather in Tarahoi square in the city this morning.

Reports say talks between the French Polynesian president, Oscar Temaru, and delegates from striking trade unions, broke up last night without agreement.

The news agency, Associated Press, reports Mr Temaru negotiated for four hours yesterday evening but the strikers decided to hold a third day of action today.

The union which represents 80 per cent of workers in the territory is protesting against planned changes to social security contributions.

More than a thousand strikers are said to have gathered at the territorial assembly complex yesterday to try to increase the pressure on the government.