The government is considering an “individual solution” for nursing staff and firefighters in Guadeloupe to be suspended because reluctant to compulsory vaccination, according to the Ministry of Overseas, while the prefect of Martinique, where the crisis has spread, has instituted Thursday a curfew in the face of nocturnal urban violence.
Following a videoconference meeting with Foreign Minister Sébastien Lecornu, the president of the Guadeloupe mayors’ association, Jocelyn Sapotille, said that the suspension of the vaccination obligation “initially refused, today ‘today (was) studied’ by the government. “We are not asking for the law to be repealed, it applies, but we are asking for a break to resolve the situation of 1,200 to 1,300 Guadeloupeans who will find themselves without income” because they are suspended, he added to the press. But a spokesman for the Overseas Department cabinet said “the vaccination requirement for caregivers and firefighters will not be lifted.”
The Ministry of Overseas Territories is committed to “apply the law with proportionality and discernment within the framework of the local instances of dialogue and listening”, specifies a press release published at the end of the meeting in which the prefect also participated. , members of the offices of the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Solidarity and Health. “It is legitimate that an individual solution can be offered to each staff to be suspended” added the ministry, which will hold a similar meeting on Friday at 3 p.m. with the president of the regional council, the president of the departmental council and parliamentarians of the territory of Guadeloupe.
While opposition to the vaccination requirement was the trigger for the crisis, which has spread to social demands, Guadeloupe mayors are also proposing that caregivers who do not want to be vaccinated be subjected to PCR tests. “Regular”. “Interdepartmental work should (…) continue in the coming hours to announce the strategy adopted,” the ministry said. The elected officials also demand the arrival of Sébastien Lecornu on the spot “in a fairly short time” and the opening of a debate on a possible change in the status of Guadeloupe.
According to the ministry, Sébastien Lecornu will be on site “soon”, but such a trip “must not be organized under pressure and must be part of specific and shared commitments”.
The crisis has spread to Martinique, a neighboring department where, like his counterpart in Guadeloupe last Friday, the prefect imposed a curfew, “from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.” Its objective is “the return to a peaceful situation” which “allows [te] then to dialogue, to work, to move forward “, but also” the return of the public service and the reopening of the school system “, indicated the prefect of Martinique Stanislas Cazelle. Security will be reinforced from Thursday night to Friday, he said, “with a more mobile device and more to target the most difficult points.” The blockades of certain axes continued Thursday on the two islands.
In Guadeloupe, Thursday was however rather calm, with cleaning operations and new “throwing stones at dams” according to a judicial source. In Martinique, detonations were heard on Thursday around 5:30 p.m. and large black smoke appeared in the sky above Châteauneuf. Tensions at Pointe-à-Pitre hospital since the start of the general strike on November 15 are starting to have their effects: an association of interns invoked on Wednesday the right of withdrawal of its members for “imminent danger” and hospital doctors are resigning.
“I do not understand that the union action is turned towards obstacles to the working tool (…) towards intimidation, insults, attacks against staff and particularly doctors”, declared on radio RCI Guadeloupe the director of the CHU, Gérard Cotellon. “I am starting to pay the consequences of all this: they are resignations in chain”.
Minimum service activated at the CHUM
The management of the Martinique CHU for its part announced that “in the current context”, it was forced “to activate the minimum service on all the sites of the CHUM in order to secure professionals and patients”, due to “Great difficulties in providing care in the institution”.
In Martinique too, local and national authorities have opened the door to dialogue with unions and elected officials. The leaders of the 17 trade unions, the prefect and the president of the executive council of the Territorial Collectivity of Martinique, Serge Letchimy, thus participated Thursday in a conciliation meeting at the prefecture. The participants came out after 4 hours, but none has wished to express themselves so far on the content of the discussions.