25 Aug 2006

French Polynesian GIP dismissal case delayed

1:59 pm on 25 August 2006

There has been a further delay in the legal challenge in French Polynesia by eleven former employees of the GIP intervention force who are on strike because of their sacking.

The group has been defying the government and occupying the administrative fleet's headquarters in the port of Papeete, disrupting passenger movements and supplies to some outer islands.

The court's competence is being challenged and an appeal court ruling on whether the first court can rule is not expected until next week.

The government's lawyer says this is just a way of trying to gain time.

But one of the strikers' leaders has already warned that they will blockade the city of Papeete if the court rules against them.

The former GIP members have carried out three blockades with impunity since the change of government last year.

The force was formally abolished early this year but most members were assigned other jobs in the public sector.