Paris Rubbish strike continues as pension reform approved by senate

The dustbin collectors strike continues in Paris, with thousands of tonnes of rubbish piling up in the streets. The waste disposal sector has been halted for a week in protest against the unpopular government pension reform.

Three incineration plants outside the capital have been hit by the work stoppages that have left entire pavements covered in black bags and overflowing bins.

The capital’s household waste agency Syctom said it has been re-routing dustbin lorries to other storage and treatment sites in the region and has yet to resort to calling in the police.

City hall employees have for the last week been picking up rubbish in just half of Paris’s districts. The strike has hit some of the most exclusive areas including the 5th, 6th and 16th arrondissements.

Other districts are served by private firms which have not gone on strike.

According to the hard-left CGT union, refuse collectors and drivers can currently retire from 57 years of age but would face another two years of work under the reform plans which still grant early retirement for those who faced tough working conditions.

The reform’s headline measure and the cornerstone policy of President Emmanuel Macron’s second term in office is a hike in the general minimum retirement age to 64 from 62, seen by many as unfair to people who start working early.

The strike comes as the French senate approved the controversial bill 175 votes to 112 on Saturday. The legislation will then be analysed by a committee comprised of seven senators and seven lower-house lawmakers, who will work to submit a final version of the draft law for a parliamentary vote on Thursday.


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