Striking union leaders on Guadeloupe agreed late Wednesday to suspend the strike that has crippled the French Caribbean island for 44 days.

However, the leaders warned that the strike would resume if government officials and business leaders reneged on their promises of a $252-a-month raise for some workers and the lowering of gas prices.

The strike and protests paralyzed the island, shut schools and business, canceled flights and forced thousands of tourists to cancel or go elsewhere.

More than 450 riot police were sent from France to quell riots and demonstrations, which included the murder of a union leader last month.

Negotiations on other issues are ongoing, including dropping prices on numerous food products and necessary household items.

Club Med La Caravelle on Guadeloupe will remain closed through April 3, pending final resolution of the strike.

On nearby Martinique, the three-week-old strike appeared to be sputtering out as well. Many businesses and gas stations reopened while union leaders worked out details on raising wages and lowering prices.


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