The Spark

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

Guadeloupe:
The Struggle to Lower Prices

Mar 23, 2009

In Guadeloupe, alongside strikes to get the Bino agreement signed by the bosses, negotiations continue between the LKP and the bosses for a general lowering of prices.

The big retail bosses are resisting lowering the prices of staples. But there is real pressure from the population, and in each negotiating session large groups of people come to support the negotiators.

Other negotiations are taking place between the LKP and the GMA (Great West Indian Millers), the business that has a monopoly over the import and sale of flour. There are negotiations for a 15% to 20% reduction in the price of flour. Then, after negotiations with the bakers, undoubtedly it will be possible to lower the price of bread.

Soon there will be negotiations with telephone and Internet providers to get lower fees, rates and subscriptions. Internet rates are much higher than in France. France Télécom and Orange enjoy a monopoly and really extort subscribers.

The population remains very attentive to the question of prices. The number of participants at meetings giving updates in front of the Mutualité building is high – between 1,000 and 1,500 people took part in the last meeting. Monitoring committees to watch prices are being set up.

Some days ago, a bus passenger protested against the cost and didn’t go along. He did it in such a way that all the bus passengers got off in protest.

Despite the negotiations, it will really be the mobilization of the population that can get significant price decreases in the island.