The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Guadeloupe:
Toward the General Strike?

Sep 13, 2021

The following is a translation from Lutte Ouvrière, the newspaper of the revolutionary workers’ group active in France.

The main workers’ unions in Guadeloupe have called for a general strike starting Thursday, September 9. These are in particular the CGTG, the UGTG, FO and certain teachers’ unions.

Political parties and groups of the labor movement, such as Combat Ouvrière and the Guadeloupean Communist Party, have joined in this call. The main demand is the repeal of the law of August 5 on compulsory vaccination and the health pass. The serious penalties provided for workers in the event of non-compliance with these measures shock many workers and in particular caregivers. All the more so since behind these measures to bring them into line are already looming attacks against pensions and against unemployment benefits.

In the current climate in the West Indies, marked by high excess mortality which affects all families, anger is mounting among a section of the population. The dilapidation of the hospital sector, the lack of equipment and personnel denounced for years, are among the causes of the current health disaster. It is the poorest layers of the population, the most poorly housed, the most malnourished, the most affected by endemic diseases (obesity, hypertension, diabetes), who are paying the heavy price for the crisis. Firefighters, Unemployment Agency workers, Cofrigo workers and ArcelorMittal workers are already on strike or about to start. And workers who for various reasons will not go on strike are preparing to protest in other forms.

The big capitalists are rubbing their hands because their profits are on the rise again from the billions in aid received from the government. At the same time people are dying by the hundreds for lack of sufficient equipment in hospitals because the money goes to the rich. But they will not sleep quite peacefully in the days to come.

Thursday, September 9, from 8 am, pickets were in place in front of a number of companies. Friday morning, a general gathering was scheduled in front of the Pointe-à-Pitre University Hospital, and on Saturday morning an appointment was made for a large gathering in front of the Palace of the Mutuality. The idea of ​​a collective struggle is gaining ground.