First Labour Day march on French side well attended

Union UNI-T 978 leads the Labour Day march in Marigot on Tuesday.

Union members took part in a spontaneous musical interlude on the waterfront. (Robert Luckock photo)


MARIGOT–Several unions took part in what was the first Labour Day march in Marigot for many years on Tuesday, with most participants taking part from the Confederation General de Travailleurs de Guadeloupe (CGTG), but supported by other smaller unions.

The march started in Galis Bay and proceeded along Rue de Hollande, through the centre of Marigot, past the post office and ended on the waterfront where some took the opportunity to give speeches. One of the speeches made was from a representative of the Dutch-side Labour Office.

“We have gathered in recognition of international Labour Day across the world where all workers are exercising their legitimate rights to manifest and celebrate this special day,” said Albert Blake, President of new union UNI-T 978 that represents Collectivité workers and other organisations.

“Machines are trying to replace humans, so 978, with other international forces, are reminding St. Martin to be aware of what’s going on in the community. St. Martin must wake up, because based on labour reforms our future is at risk, and that of our children.

“UNI-T 978 representing St. Martin is demanding better working conditions, better and more trading opportunities, and decent training programmes that can sustain all workers. Protection of the labour force has to be respected. We are trying to do our best for St. Martin.”

Blake said UNI-T 978 will hold elections to renew its board on December 4.

CGTG union leader Julien Boirard, who has been representing La Samanna employees for the past three months in negotiations with the hotel, called the march “fruitful, well attended and impressive.” He estimated the turnout to be about 150 persons.

“Workers from now on will be better represented,” he said. “We will definitely have this march again next year. The message got across.”

Source: The Daily Herald