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Rubbish strike in Paris to continue for FIVE more days

Trade unions in Paris have vowed to continue their strike, which means uncollected rubbish will continue to pile up in the capital. Other cities around France are also overflowing with rubbish.

Rubbish strike in Paris to continue for FIVE more days
Photo: AFP
Any hope of a pristine Paris for the Euro 2016 tournament can be kissed goodbye, as the CGT union announced on Thursday afternoon that the garbage collection strike would continue until at least June 14th.
 
The tournament, which begins on Friday night, will likely come with a bit of a stench as temperatures rise. 
 
“We are extremely worried about the absence of cleanliness is several neighbourhoods,” said deputy Paris mayor Bruno Julliard, who is in charge of street cleaning in the capital. “We must be extremely careful.”
 
And it's not just in Paris that black bin bags are stacking up on the streets. 
 
Other host cities such as St Etienne and Marseille have also had to put up with rubbish piling up on the street.
 
 
The strike has seen workers blockading waste processing centres in Paris, causing uncollected rubbish to pile up in ten of the capital's 20 districts.
 
Strikers have also blocked access to the rubbish collection trucks.
The arrondissements affected are the 2nd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 17th, and 20th. 
 
With nowhere else for locals to dump rubbish, the garbage has begun to spill over onto the streets across Paris. 
 
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has called for an end to the strike action and promised to get the rubbish collected as soon as possible.
 
“We are redeploying staff to sort out the situation where it's most critical today,” she said.
 
The picture below, taken in the 5th arrondissement on Thursday afternoon, shows that some rubbish is indeed being cleared. 
 
Photo: Michael Damstrup
 
Other streets weren't so lucky, such as this one below near Etienne Marcel in the 2nd arrondissement. 
 
Photo: The Local
 
Officials said that private companies were being hired to remove the accumulating waste.
 
They added that they were in discussion with union heads in a bid to come to an agreement. 
 
The strikes are part of a much larger movement that has seen French union members protesting labour reforms that essentially will make it easier for companies to hire and fire employees. 
 
 
 
But the president's hope of a strike-free Euros have been dashed, it seems. 
 
And many of the locals aren't impressed either. The owner of a clothes store in the 2nd arrondissement told The Local on Wednesday that the piled up rubbish in front of her shop was “horrible”. 
 
“It just adds to the terrible image of France in the press at the moment,” she said.
 
“People think there's a war going on here with the protests. It affects the number of customers coming into my shop, as does everything else happening in France that has scared tourists from visiting. No-one wants to come to France and especially Paris at the moment.”
 
 
Uncollected black refuse sacks were also gathering in Saint-Etienne, the central city that will host four Euro 2016 matches, as well as Marseille in the south.

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STRIKES

French customs officers strike over job cuts

Customs officers across France will walk out on Thursday in protest at job cuts that unions say will “weaken the customs network”.

French customs officers strike over job cuts

The national strike on Thursday, March 10th is expected to lead to delays at ports, airports and on the Eurostar.

The strike, which will include a rally outside the National Assembly building in Paris, was called by the CFDT-Douane and has the support of other unions. 

A work-to-rule protest over pay and conditions by customs officers in 2019, under the shadow of Brexit, led to delays and disruption at airports, as well as ports including Calais and Dunkirk, and on Eurostar trains.

Unions are calling on the government to axe plans to switch responsibility for import duty collection to the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques by 2024, at the cost of 700 customs’ officer jobs – and, according to strikers, tens of billions of euros to State coffers.

“We are asking for the reforms to be stopped, mainly that of the transfer of taxation, which is disorganising the network with the elimination of nearly a thousand jobs,” CFDT-Douane’s secretary general David-Olivier Caron said.

The planned job cuts come after years of restructuring and streamlining that has seen thousands of positions disappear, the unions say, when customs fraud and smuggling is rising because of a lack of resources.

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