January 29, 2022

With the postponement of the vaccine obligation in Guadeloupe, the government is trying to find a way out of the social conflict

After two weeks of a deadlocked social conflict in Guadeloupe, and its aftershocks in Martinique and French Polynesia, the government activated several levers to try to find a way out. In a speech posted online Friday, November 26, the Minister of Overseas Territories, Sébastien Lecornu, addressed Guadeloupe, going so far as to raise the issue of autonomy. “Some elected officials have asked the question of autonomy, did he declare. The government is ready to talk about it, there are no bad debates as long as these debates serve to solve the real problems of the daily life of Guadeloupeans. “

Read also Crisis in the West Indies: new violence, the government “ready to talk” about the “autonomy” of Guadeloupe, says Sébastien Lecornu

On the social front, Mr Lecornu also announced the funding of « 1 000 jobs supported for young people, with specific support and training ”. Earlier in the day, the executive had also tried to demine the detonator of this crisis by resigning itself to granting additional time to the vaccination obligation of caregivers and firefighters, now postponed to December 31. In Martinique, the same postponement is granted to all the professionals concerned and no longer only to the staff of the hospital center on the island, as recommended by a mediation mission mandated by the executive to comply with the law of the August 5, 2021.

“Protecting the health of our fellow citizens (…) involves the vaccination of all professionals who care for, help or support the French, and in particular the most vulnerable among them ”, wrote, Friday, the ministries of overseas and health in a joint statement. About 90% of caregivers in Guadeloupe have received at least one injection of the vaccine against Covid-19, according to the Regional Health Agency. The announced device offers the remaining caregivers and firefighters not to have their remuneration suspended if they accept an individual interview, as part of the dialogue mission already announced by the government.

A division strategy?

At the Pointe-à-Pitre University Hospital, many mobilized caregivers said they were affected by the pithy announcement of their suspension, which, according to them, was manifested by a simple letter and without contact with the human resources department of the establishment – however, the law imposes a preliminary interview in the event of suspension of more than three days.

Read also Martinique and Guadeloupe: the government postpones the vaccination obligation for nursing staff to December 31

“We are fighting to ensure that these rights are respected, and we will continue to do so”, comments Gaby Clavier, Secretary General of the Union of Health Workers, trade union section of the General Union of Workers of Guadeloupe (UTS-UGTG). “I have the impression that we don’t listen to each other, that we don’t understand each other. We ask for the end of the vaccination obligation, the health pass and reintegration ” and not its postponement, said Jocelyn Zou, secretary of the Force Ouvrière union of the departmental fire and rescue service of Guadeloupe, daily France-Antilles.

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