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Guadeloupe (France): Labor unions flags

Last modified: 2012-10-21 by ivan sache
Keywords: labour unions | ugtg | drum (white) | fist (black) |
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General Union of the Workers of Guadeloupe (UGTG)

[Flag of UGTG]

Flag of UGTG - Image by Chrystian Kretowicz, 16 March 2009

UGTG (Union Générale de Travailleurs de Guadeloupe - Unyon Général a Travayé Gwadloup) was founded as a centrale syndicale (umbrella organization grouping several branch labor unions) at Baie-Mahault on 2 December 1973 by independentist militants. UGTG is today the main labor organization in Guadeloupe, with some 52% of the votes gathered in the last labor unions elections.

The image gallery of the UGTG website has several sightings of the flag, for instance:
- 1 May 2004 demonstration;
- 1 May 2005 demonstration;
- 1 May 2006 demonstration;
- 1 May 2008 demonstration;
- 12th Congress.

While UGTG is a main component of the LKP collective, the organizer of the social movement in Guadeloupe in spring 2009, its flag does not seem to have been used in the recent demonstrations. It is widely used, however, with some colour variations, on T-shirts.

The drum shown the flag is a ka, a central symbol of the Guadelupian identity. The ka (with several variants) is the only instrument played in the gwoka music, which evolved from traditional African rythms brought by the slaves from West Africa in the 18th century to a music specific of the island, made of seven codified rtyhms. In the plantations, the gwoka was used to punctuate all the events of the daylife. The drumming, sometimes used as the sign of the revolt, scared so much the planters that some of them banned the drums, which were then replaced by rythmic songs called boulagel.

Chrystian Kretowicz & Ivan Sache, 16 March 2009