Fri 17 March 2023:
Over 10,000 tonnes of garbage have already piled up on the streets of Paris as a result of a strike by street cleaners protesting the controversial pension reform, despite efforts by authorities to force the workers back to work, according to French media citing the Paris mayor’s office on Friday.
According to Le Figaro, a symbolic milestone of 10,000 tonnes of uncollected garbage on city streets was reached on Friday afternoon.
The prefecture authorities warned of increasing volumes of trash piling up in Paris, saying it could increase sanitary risks for residents and facilitate the spread of various diseases, according to the newspaper.
The strike of the cleaners against the pension reform started on March 7 and was initially planned to last for a week, but it was then extended at least until March 20.
On Wednesday, the French government asked Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo to order street cleaners to stop protesting against the pension reform and resume their work.
Hidalgo refused to do so, saying that the workers had a right to protest and the one acceptable way forward would be to launch a public dialogue instead of forcing striking workers to resume work. Paris police chief Laurent Nunez, on the other hand, ordered 400 street cleaners get back to work later that day, but they still could not cope with increasing amounts of trash.
The French government passed a law raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 years without a final vote in parliament on Thursday, invoking Article 49.3 of the constitution, which allows the government to pass legislation without a parliamentary vote. The eighth nationwide protest against the reform was already underway when the law was passed. On Friday, protests in Paris continued.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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