Tahiti unions threaten general strike if covid-19 rules not tightened

Tahitian unions plan to strike if health demands not met ... seeking the reintroduction of a 14-day quarantine for arriving travellers and other measures. Image: RNZ

By RNZ Pacific

French Polynesian unions say they will hold a general strike this Thursday unless covid-19 measures are tightened.

Five unions jointly issued the warning as the number of covid-19 infections this month rose to 444.

They said they acted to protect the health of employees which was no longer assured by the “explosion” in the number of cases, which were concentrated on Tahiti.

Their demands include the reintroduction of a 14-day quarantine for arriving travellers which the local Tahitian government and the French High Commission abolished in mid-July to boost tourism.

The unions want passengers to be isolated in two dedicated places despite a court ruling which disallowed such restrictions.

They also said they wanted class sizes to be limited to 15 students and a school to close if covid-19 was confirmed in two classes.

Furthermore, they want masks made available to students for free.

A meeting between the unions and the authorities is expected on Wednesday.

Earlier the government and the French High Commission ruled out another general lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.

However, the Health Minister said the territory, which was again on maximum alert, could see targeted restrictions affecting some neighbourhoods.

Since the start of last month, four airlines have resumed flying between Tahiti and both France and the US.

This article is republished by the Pacific Media Centre under a partnership agreement with RNZ.

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