general strike in French Polynesia against the vaccine obligation

French Polynesia, in turn, is experiencing a movement against compulsory vaccination. A largely majority inter-union began a general strike on Wednesday 24 November to protest against this measure and to demand the introduction of social measures.

Four local unions, out of the five in this overseas collectivity, are contesting the law on compulsory vaccination, voted in August by the Assembly of French Polynesia. All Polynesians who exercise a profession in contact with the public will have to be vaccinated on December 23, while less than 58% of the inhabitants are currently vaccinated, despite a strong wave due to the Delta variant in August and September.

The movement mobilizes little in the public service: less than 1% of employees in education and administration have gone on strike. It is followed more in companies that present internal claims.

Polynesian President Edouard Fritch said he was ready to reduce the fine incurred by the unvaccinated, but not to reverse this law: “My duty is to protect the population and therefore to maintain the vaccine obligation”, he said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

The unions also want a 4% increase in the minimum wage. The government has said it is ready to increase it by 2% and by one point more in a few months. The gross minimum wage is 1,281 euros in Polynesia, where the cost of living is higher than in mainland France.

The World with AFP

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