GUADELOUPE The Independent and Democratic Workers Party (POID) alerts workers, activists and young people in France to the situation in Guadeloupe

The Parti Ouvrier Indépendant Démocratique (POID, the Independent and Democratic Workers Party) alerts workers, activists and young people in France to the situation in Guadeloupe. 

More than two and a half months ago, on 2 September, the main workers’ and democratic organisations of Guadeloupe submitted to the prefecture a precise list of thirty-two demands expressing the legitimate aspirations of the Guadeloupean workers and people, which go far beyond the legitimate demand for the repeal of the Law of 5 August and the socalled « health » pass. On 23 September again, the organisations went to the prefecture[1] to demand that they be heard. 

On 29 September, the prefect rejected all the proposals and put an end to all negotiations, the organisations concerned explain. Faced with the French authorities’ refusal to negotiate on their demands, the main trade union organisations decided to call for an unlimited general strike from 15 November. The strike was widely followed by workers in many professional sectors and massively supported by the population. 

And once again, as Maïté Hubert M’Toumo, general secretary of the General Union of Guadeloupe Workers (UGTG), summed up on the television channel Guadeloupe-La 1re: « The only response (from the State) to the demands is always repression, as in May 1967”[2]. On 19 November, the prefect declared a state of emergency. On 20 November, the Minister of the Interior sent in RAID and GIGN units, which are used for terrorist acts and hostage-taking. On 22 November, around thirty arrested demonstrators were tried in an immediate appearance, threatened with heavy sentences. 

The Guadeloupean workers’ and democratic organisations were right to state that « the deterioration of the social climate is only the result of the deterioration deliberately orchestrated by the State » (communiqué of 19 November). 

No worker, no activist, no young person in France can accept the attitude of the Macron government and its representatives in Guadeloupe who stubbornly refuse the call reiterated again by Eli Domota on behalf of the organisations involved in the strike, to « the opening of negotiations on the basis of the demands ». No worker, no activist, no young person in France can accept that the RAID and the GIGN be sent in against workers, young people and mothers who are demanding their legitimate rights. 

Every worker, every activist, every young person in France cannot but recognise their own demands, in the thirty-two point platform, from « a halt to redundancies and job cuts » and « a generalised increase in salaries, minimum social benefits, unemployment benefits and retirement pensions », to the demand for « the recruitment of healthcare workers and staff in hospitals », or again for « the recruitment of technical and supervisory staff, for the doubling of classes and the respect of healthcare measures in schools ». 

It is therefore the duty of the workers’ and democratic movement, of any organisation claiming to be a workers’ organisation, in France: 

  • to demand an end to the repression, the withdrawal of the RAID and the GIGN, and the release of the imprisoned; 
  • to support the call of the Guadeloupean organisations for the opening of real negotiations, on the basis of the platform of thirty-two demands. 

The POID expresses its unconditional solidarity with the workers and people of Guadeloupe, as well as with their organisations. It will respond to any call to demonstrate this solidarity. 

[1] Translator’s Note: Guadeloupe is one of five Overseas Departments of France. The prefecture refers to the French DOM Department authorities. 

[2] In May 1967, the mobile gendarmes bloodily repressed a construction workers’ strike, killing over 80 people.