Thousands of tons of garbage piled up in the streets of the French capital after a week-long strike by waste collectors against the government’s pension reforms, a key move in President Emmanuel Macron’s second term.
Sidewalks are covered in black bags and trash cans overflow as work has stopped at three incineration plants on the outskirts of the capital.
Syctom, the capital’s household waste agency, said it was rerouting trash trucks to other storage and processing sites in the area and had not yet resorted to calling the police.
Paris city hall said on Sunday that 5,400 tonnes of waste remained uncollected.
Municipal employees are responsible for picking up litter in half of Paris’ districts, including the 5th, 6th and 16th arrondissements.
The other half is provided by obscure private companies.
Rolling work stop
The far-left CGT union, representing a majority of the capital’s garbage collectors, declared a “rolling” strike in protest against the government’s pension reforms.
according to CGTgarbage collectors and drivers can now receive a minimum basic pension from the age of 57.
Under the pension reform bill currently passing through the Diet, they will have to work for two more years.
According to the CGT, the life expectancy of garbage workers is 12 to 17 years less than the national average.
Garbage collection is “easier than before”
Located in the chic 16th arrondissement, eiffel towera local resident photographs the pile of garbage bags littering the sidewalk.
“It will be 2 meters high in three days of hitting, and 10 meters high in a few days,” he told RFI.
Another resident says he had to make a detour to get home. “We will have rats and rats, that’s not normal.”
He disagrees that garbage collectors are doing a hard job.
“Some jobs are more difficult,” he says. “I’m a tiler. It’s a hard job. Collecting trash is easier than it used to be. It’s becoming a popular job.”
But the young couple is showing support for the striking garbage workers.
“They are taking strong action. Stopping is important,” said the young woman, who her partner believes will “make the public realize how important garbage collectors are.”
opposition to reform
A woman in a chignon walks past a stinking pile of garbage and picks her nose. “After Covid, it’s terrifying to be headed for cholera,” she says.
A key step in the reform is to raise the general minimum retirement age from 62 to 64.
Opinion polls show the majority of French people are against it, believing it unfair to those who start working early.
French Senate on Saturday voted for reformIt will be considered by a joint committee of the Senate and the Senate, possibly Wednesday.
Final votes in both houses are scheduled for Thursday.
https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20230313-mountains-of-rubbish-in-paris-as-garbage-collectors-strike-over-pension-reform Trash piles in Paris as garbage collectors strike over pension reform