21 Mar 2014

French Polynesian police beaten by striking public sector workers

6:26 am on 21 March 2014

There have been heated scenes in French Polynesia after a demonstration by striking public sector workers in Papeete.

Some demonstrators insulted and beat police officers near the memorial site for the war dead where about 500 people had gathered.

The rally was called in protest at planned public sector reforms which has triggered concern about job losses.

The crowd had wanted to meet the French high commissioner who declined discussing the issue, citing his need to stand aside because of the municipal elections to be held over the next two weekends.

The high commissioner says he will meet the union in early April.

The union movement says it will tighten its strike by about 4,800 municipal employees in 48 communes.