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MATA-UTU, Wallis Island (Oceania Flash, June 1) Television and radio audiences in the French territory of Wallis and Futuna have had to find another occupation for the past three weeks.

Since May 11, the French government's television and radio station, RFO-Wallis, has been desperately silent, due to a strike.

Five unions within RFO-Wallis are jointly demanding that the salaries and working conditions of the 55 RFO staff working in Wallis be reexamined.

It is estimated about 30 of the 55 staff are following the strike, local management told Oceania Flash.

Since last month, attempts to find a way out of the impasse, including a special mediator flown from RFO's headquarters in Paris, have failed.

In the meantime, no programs have been aired, either on radio or on television.

At one stage, the unions were also demanding, as a prerequisite to any talks, the resignation of the New Caledonia-based regional director.

They also say they are refusing to talk to the Nouméa regional office.

The only exception is on the island of Futuna, where people are able to receive RFO's feed directly from Paris because the small relay station's personnel did not follow the strike movement.

June 2, 2004

Oceania Flash: E-mail/Courriel: padec@iname.com

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