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Garbage collectors’ strike: trash cans overflow in Paris



(Paris) Mounds of garbage cans have formed in Paris where 5,400 tonnes of waste remained uncollected on Sunday, according to the town hall, on the seventh day of the garbage collectors’ strike against the pension reform.

Three incineration plants at the gates of the capital, those of Ivry-sur-Seine, Issy-les-Moulineaux and Saint-Ouen, are also shut down, explaining these overflowing trash cans in certain neighborhoods, sometimes aligned along the entire width of the sidewalks.

The metropolitan household waste agency Syctom has indicated that it diverts the dumpsters to around fifteen other treatment or storage sites and has not, at this stage, required the intervention of the police to put an end to the blocking of its centers.

City hall officials collect waste in half of the Parisian arrondissements (2nd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 17th and 20th arrondissements), while the other half is managed by private service providers. .

In its renewable strike notice, the CGT recalls that garbage collectors and drivers can currently claim retirement at 57 without bonus, an age pushed back to 59 in the event of the adoption of the pension reform.

“The vast majority of staff in the cleanliness and water management has a life expectancy of 12 to 17 years less than all employees”, assures the union, also in full negotiation on the index reclassification and the career path of garbage collectors.

Asked by AFP, the CGT FTDNEEA (waste treatment, cleaning, water, sewer, sanitation sector) could not be reached immediately.

In the streets, passers-by interviewed by AFP on Sunday often say they “understand the movement”.

Garbage collectors “are the first victims of this reform” because “often they started working young” and “do a more difficult job than other people who are in offices”, comments Christophe Mouterde, an 18-year-old student.

“It’s terrible, there are rats and mice,” notes Romain Gaia, a 36-year-old pastry chef who, like other traders in the 2nd arrondissement, has stored trash cans that accumulate over more than one meter high.

But working longer for the garbage collectors, “it’s delusional, they are absolutely right to make a social movement” and “should make it last perhaps even longer”, believes the pastry chef. These are “people who usually have no power, but if they stop working, they have a real one”, he notes.

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