18 Aug 2009

French Polynesia strike hinges on talks with government

1:48 pm on 18 August 2009

A senior French Polynesian union leader, Patrick Galenon, says an open-ended strike will begin at midnight if this afternoon's discussions with the vice-president, Antony Geros, are not in the unions' favour.

The strike threat is based on a 14-point list of grievances but according to Tahitipresse, it is unclear if any call to strike will be followed widely.

Mr Galenon says the five main unions don't want to strike for the sake of striking but want to highlight the territory's problems, with at least 5,000 jobs having been lost.

He says a common approach needs to be found, involving the French state, the territorial government as well as the employers and unions.

Mr Galenon says he knows that the public has trouble understanding some of the issues but he says once conditions have worsened it will be too late.