FRENCH POLYNESIA’S FLOSSE RULES OUT NEGOTIATION ON 35-HOUR WORK WEEK

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FRENCH POLYNESIA’S FLOSSE RULES OUT NEGOTIATION ON 35-HOUR WORK WEEK

PAPEETE, French Polynesia (May 3, 2000 – Oceania Flash/SPC)---French Polynesia's President Gaston Flosse had ruled out any possibility of entering into negotiations with local workers to reduce the work week to 35 hours, RFO-radio reported.

Unions welcomed a recent move from the French Polynesian government to give full maternity rights to women workers. But the 35-hour workweek, which recently came into force in metropolitan France, was less successful.

After meeting Flosse, CSTP/FO (French Polynesia's umbrella union) Secretary General Pierre Frébault said the President did not even envisage entering into negotiations on the matter.

"He is very closed on this one. I think he has just put the government into a deadlock on the matter.

"I warned him that if this was going to be so, the debate was going to happen within the companies, and there could be difficulties.

"It will be difficult to explain the French Polynesian workmen that even though they are part of the French Republic, they cannot ask to benefit from the same social progress (as in metropolitan France).

"The debate must take place on reducing working hours."

 

FRENCH POLYNESIAN MAYORS PROTEST AGAINST PLANNED REALIGNMENT OF CONSTITUENCIES

PAPEETE, French Polynesia (May 2, 2000 – Oceania Flash/SPC)---Mayors from throughout French Polynesia marched through the streets of the French territory's capital Papeete Saturday to protest against a plan to realign the current territorial constituencies, as suggested by opposition French Parliament member Emile Vernaudon, RFO-radio reported.

The mayors ended their march in front of the French Polynesian territorial assembly.

"This is only about us mayors trying to know what the future holds for our collectivities, according to this new bill. Are we not going to be let down?" French Polynesian mayors' union president (and Bora Bora mayor) Gaston Tong Sang, asked.

The bill purports to merge all five existing constituencies into one.

French Polynesia’s president, Gaston Flosse, earlier strongly opposed the bill, which stemmed from a recent visit to Paris by opposition leader Vernaudon and talks with the French Socialist-led government and party officials.

Flosse accused the French government of "bargaining away" French Polynesia and said he would not allow this to happen.

After the march, protesting mayors also met Flosse, Papeete mayor Michel Buillard, assembly president Justin Arapari and French High Commissioner Jean Aribaud.

The bill is to be tabled this month in the French National Assembly.

 

FRENCH POLYNESIA PRESIDENT FLOSSE'S FIRST WIFE DIES

PAPEETE, French Polynesia (May 2, 2000 – Oceania Flash/SPC)----French Polynesia President Gaston Flosse's first wife, Barbara Viera Joan Flosse-Cunningham, died last Friday near the French territory's capital, the president’s office said Saturday in a statement.

She married the politician in 1950. They had six children (one boy, five girls).

The territory's Vice President, Edouard Fritch, was very emotional when he made the announcement. The deceased was his mother-in-law, through a marriage to one of Flosse and Cunningham's daughters.

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