Mauritius: Strike against 'British' law
WORKERS, JAN 2008 ISSUE
Trade unions and workers' parties in Mauritius have called for a general strike in early December to counter anti-union legislation – modelled on British law – being introduced by the government.
The planned law coincides with the government's attempted "democratisation of the economy" – all of which is linked to the restructuring of the sugar industry. This restructuring is tied into European Union abolition of guaranteed prices for Mauritian sugar and is a three-way fight between the EU attempting to dominate the Mauritian economy, the sugar barons trying to offload the financial crisis onto the workers and the trade unions fighting to safeguards their members' livelihoods.
The EU's role in revamping a new colonialism – Mauritius became independent from Britain in 1992 – is about recreating the economic chains of empire. And not only economic chains but military: despite continued High Court successes against the deportations from Diego Garcia – the Chagos Archipelago – in 1965, the illegal US and UK military occupation continues. It is still a central demand of the Mauritius trade unions and independence movement that the seized territory be fully restored.