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France

Guadeloupe unions and French government reach deal to end strike

Video by Kate WILLIAMS , Lise BARCELLINI

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-03-05

Workers' unions and French government representatives reached a deal to end a crippling 44-day-long general strike over wages and the rising cost of living Wednesday night in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

AFP - An accord was signed late Wednesday bringing to an end a 44-day general strike on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, while negotiations continued in Martinique over a similar stoppage.

French authorities signed the agreement with the LKP movement of unions and leftist groups that launched the strike on January 20 to press for higher wages on the island, one of France's overseas departments.

The detailed agreement, covering a multitude of everyday subjects, provided for a 200-euro (253-dollar) monthly increase for low wage earners.

Most shops, schools and government offices have remained closed during the strike that has laid bare tensions between the island's black majority and white business owners.

A union activist was shot dead during rioting at the height of the conflict last month in Guadeloupe.

In nearby Martinique, in the throes of a general strike for a month Thursday, negotiations continued late Wednesday, with most shops remaining closed.

Date created : 2009-03-05

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