Polish shipworkers end hunger strike in France

4th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

SAINT-NAZAIRE, France, Aug 3 (AFP) - A group of Polish shipworkers ended a week-long hunger strike over unpaid wages on Wednesday after being promised they would be paid, a French union official said.

SAINT-NAZAIRE, France, Aug 3 (AFP) - A group of Polish shipworkers ended a week-long hunger strike over unpaid wages on Wednesday after being promised they would be paid, a French union official said.

The 13 workers employed in the French port of Saint-Nazaire at Chantiers de l'Atlantique, one of Europe's largest naval yards, will receive the EUR 30,000 owed to them on Wednesday evening, said Andre Fadda of the CGT union.

They had been working for a Polish subcontracting company, which went bankrupt.

The French company Gestal will advance the two months in wages unpaid by the bankrupt Polish recruitment company Kliper, Gestal director general Patrick Allaire told AFP.

Allaire said the company made the payment for "humanitarian reasons", however Fadda said the government demanded that Gestal pay the Polish workers.

Gestal will take legal action to recover the money from Kliper, based in the Polish town of Szczecin, Allaire said.

The 13 shipworkers had refused food since last Friday, and three of them began to refuse water on Tuesday.

They said they had not been paid their monthly wage of EUR 1,200.

Gestal said it had paid the workers' salaries to its sub-contractor Kliper at the end of May and in June, but had not heard from the Polish company since.

The Polish workers will be paid in the presence of the Polish consul general and representatives of the French regional government.

Prosecutors in Poland said earlier on Wednesday they would open an investigation into the case and seek to establish if there had been "a deliberate and ongoing violation of worker rights" which carries a penalty of two years jail.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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