World News

Garbage piles up in France’s ‘City of Lights’ as pension reform strikes continue


Thousands of tonnes of rubbish have piled up on the streets of the French capital following a week-long strike by bin collectors over government pension reforms, the city hall said on Sunday.

Three incinerators outside the capital have been hit by shutdowns, leaving pavements strewn with black bags and overflowing bins.

Syctom, the capital’s household waste disposal agency, said it had diverted bin trucks to other storage and disposal sites in the area, but had not yet called police.

Last week, city hall employees picked up rubbish in only half of Paris. The strike hit some of the most exclusive districts, including Districts 5, 6 and 16.

Other areas are served by non-strike private companies.

According to the hard-left CGT union, waste collectors and drivers can currently retire from the age of 57, but they will face another two years of work under a reform plan that still allows early retirement for those facing difficult working conditions.

The CGT said the life expectancy of waste workers was 12-17 years lower than the national average.

On the street, 18-year-old student Christophe Mouterde told AFP that bin collectors were “the first victims of this reform … they usually start working very young … …take jobs that are more difficult than other people’s offices”.

“It’s horrible, rats and rats,” said pastry chef Romain Gaia, who works in District 2, which has no litter collection bins.

But despite the mountains of rubbish piled up nearby, he still provides support to garbage workers.

“They were absolutely right to strike,” the 36-year-old said. “Normally they don’t have power, but if they stop working, they do have (power).”

The main measure of reform and a cornerstone policy of President Emmanuel Macron’s second term is to raise the general minimum retirement age from 62 to 64, which many say is unfair to early risers.

Strike jokes: “‘Emily in Paris’ disagrees!”


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please Turn of the Ad Blocker!