Half of Paris risks being hit by rubbish strike

Ten of the 20 Paris arrondissements may be hit by a garbage-worker strike that started on Monday.

Half of Paris risks being hit by rubbish strike
Photo: AFP

A rubbish strike that kicked off on Monday morning may just leave Paris smelling a little unusual.

Rubbish workers, who are looking for a pay rise, blocked off the entrances to waste collection centres around the Paris suburbs on Monday morning.

Around 400 of the workers went on strike, reported the BFMTV channel, meaning rubbish in some parts of town simply hasn't been collected.

Officials have suggested that ten of the city’s 20 arrondissements could be affected: the 2nd, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 17th, and 20th.

Authorities (and locals) are no doubt hoping that the strikes don’t descend into a repeat of summer 2016 when garbage workers went on strike for five days in a row, leaving two-metre piles of uncollected rubbish on the streets (see pic below).

The City Hall said on Monday said it was open to salary discussion with the workers.


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.