POINTE-A-PITRE, GUADELOUPE, January 24 — Workers here have shut down this island since January 20 with a general strike against the high cost of living. Over 3,000 marched here on the first day. The workers of this French overseas department in the Caribbean — 70% of whose 500,000 inhabitants are black — are showing the way for all workers in France and the Caribbean being hit hard by the worldwide capitalist meltdown.
Determined flying squads of strikers yesterday closed banks, stores and shopping centers. The island’s 115 gas stations have been closed since January 19. Electricity production has been cut 70%.
The Kont Pwofitasyon Collective, composed of nearly all the trade unions as well as political parties and associations, organized the strike. Collective spokesman Elie Domota said it would continue next week if the French government did not abandon its tactic of stalling over the 120 demands advanced by the collective.
The weakness of this collective is its all-class unity character, which therefore includes local bosses who basically want a bigger share of the exploitation of workers on the island. Contrary to this, workers must turn their anger and struggles into schools for communism and raise the demand that a system which can’t serve the basic interests of the working class must be destroyed.