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The widespread labour strike in French Guiana shows no sign of ending. The action has forced rocket company Arianespace to suspend all work at the spaceport. The strike started on March 20th and now is more or less total with numerous road-blocks affecting all trade in the French colony.
Some 37 labour unions are supporting the strike which went widespread on March27, and with the unions demanding supporting payments from the French Government of €3 billion to aid the local struggling economy.
French Guiana was once ‘Devil’s Island’ and used as a penal colony for some 100 years.
The strikes mean that Arianespace’s launch routines are now severely impacted. Two satellites are currently in storage at the Kourou facility while satellites for Eutelsat, SES and ViaSat are having their launch expectations delayed.
An emergency transfer of €1 billion is reported to have been approved by the French government and this move helped the strikers occupying the main suite of administrative offices at the spaceport to disperse. But the protestors want far more, including new hospitals, better education facilities and health care.