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Guadeloupe Strike Ends With Pay Increases


Businesses have begun to reopen on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, after a 44-day general strike that had paralyzed the territory ended with promises of pay increases.

Unions and authorities signed a deal late Wednesday to end the six-week dispute over wages and the price of staple goods. The agreement calls for workers to receive a $250 wage increase to compensate for high prices.

During the protest, rioters overturned vehicles, looted shops and set fires to buildings. One union activist, Jacques Bino, was shot dead last month while driving his car near a roadblock manned by armed youths. The conflict exposed race and class divisions on the island, where the local white elite wields power over the black majority.

The protests, however, spread to Martinique, another French Caribbean island, as well as to Reunion Island, a French territory in the Indian Ocean. Earlier Thursday, police fired tear gas at protesters demanding higher wages in Reunion.

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