Guadeloupe Unions Win Raises But Strike Goes On

Unions in Guadeloupe scored a victory in getting a deal to raise some workers' salaries, but said Friday they will not end a general strike now concluding its sixth week on the French Caribbean island, the Associated Press reported. Leaders of the strike-organizing Collective Against Exploitation, or LKP, paused for handshakes and photos with small business owners after signing the deal just before midnight Thursday. The agreement raises some workers' salaries by $250 (€200) a month. The union leaders quickly turned their attention to unsettled issues of raises for thousands more workers and lowering food and energy prices many times higher than those on the French mainland. But prospects for further salary talks were set back earlier Thursday when the French Caribbean department's large business owners refused to return to the negotiating table, accusing the unions of creating a "climate of intimidation and violence." "Each day that passes, more and more companies face great difficulty, taking measures of unemployment, redundancy or are close to bankruptcy," the employers said, citing roadblocks and shop closures and accusing the LKP of physically intimidating business owners. Read more.