French riot police landed in Martinique, where a general strike over the high cost of living escalated into its seventh day on Thursday.
Extra squadrons of French police already had been deployed to Guadeloupe, an island paralyzed by a general strike for 22 days.
On both islands, the turmoil has shut schools, shops, ports, public transportation, government offices, banks and gas stations; led to flight delays, cancellations and garbage pile-ups; and left residents facing severe food shortages, according to French newspaper reports.
Club Med was one of many Guadeloupe hotels to temporarily close. However, Club Med’s Buccaneer’s Creek resort on Martinique remains open as do some other hotels and attractions, although many European tourists have canceled, according to reports.
The main issues are low wages and the high cost of living on islands where the euro is used as currency.
Many islanders’ salaries are not keeping up with rising food prices and water bills. Government officials in France have thus far refused to meet demands for a monthly increase in base salaries.