Severity: Warning Alert

Civil Unrest: Unions postpone planned general strike in French Polynesia to Sept. 8 amid ongoing talks. Protests, disruptions possible if action proceeds.

Alert Begins 04 Sep 2020 12:35 AM UTC
Alert Expires 09 Sep 2020 10:00 AM UTC

  • Event: General strike
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Start Time/Date: 0001 Sept. 8
  • Impact: Possible protests, business and transport disruptions

Summary
Five private and public sector unions have postponed a threatened nationwide general strike until Sept. 8 amid ongoing talks with the government over its management of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission. The unions' demands include increased health screening at Tahiti-Faa'a International Airport (PPT), a mandatory 14-day quarantine in government facilities for all arriving passengers, compensation for unemployed workers and employees in mandatory quarantine, and a compulsory mask requirement in public areas, among others. Discussions with officials are scheduled to continue in the coming days, and union leaders could further postpone or call off the action at short notice.

Unless averted, the strike could disrupt operations in the private sector, public hospitals, and some government and civil offices. A Ti'a I Mua, the main public service union, is not participating in the action, likely limiting impacts to many government services. However, stevedores and airport workers will participate in the strike if it goes forward, affecting maritime freight at Port of Papeete. Minor flight service disruptions at French Polynesia's main airports, including PPT, Bora Bora Airport (BOB), and Raiatea Airport (RFP), are possible.

Striking workers may hold protests, particularly in Papeete. Protests often take place at Place Tarahoi, in front of the Papeete Town Hall. Demonstrations are likely to remain peaceful but could result in localized traffic disruptions.

Advice
Monitor local media for updates on the proposed strike. Avoid all associated demonstrations. Prepare for business and transportation disruptions in across French Polynesia during the strike action.


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