19 Oct 2006

Talks underway to end week-long strike and blockades in French Polynesia

8:20 pm on 19 October 2006

Negotiations have started in French Polynesia aimed at ending a week-long strike by the O Oe To Oe Rima union.

The meeting began after the government of Oscar Temaru gave in to demands that talks be held without all the road blocks around Papeete be lifted.

The union leader, Ronald Terorotua, who is accompanied by the former head of the now dissolved GIP intervention force, Leonard Puputauki, has met the labour minister, Pierre Frebault [freh-baw], and the public works minister, James Salmon [sal-monn].

The strikers want to discuss the fate of some bus drivers, the future of the former GIP employees and then the high cost of living which was the purported trigger for the strikes and roadblocks that at one stage cut all road access to the capital.

The talks are expected to last several days.