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LOUVRE

‘Suffocating’ Louvre closed as security staff go on strike due to overcrowding

The Louvre Museum in Paris was closed on Monday due to a strike by reception and security staff who claim the museum is "suffocating" due to overcrowding, leaving thousands of tourists disappointed.

'Suffocating' Louvre closed as security staff go on strike due to overcrowding
Photo: AFP
The Louvre was set to remain closed for the whole of Monday as reception and security went on strike due to a recent increase in the number of visitors. 
 
 
In a statement the Sud Culture Solidaires union said: “The Louvre is suffocating” and that staff members have noticed a “deterioration in conditions for visitors and workers”. 
 
 
“This represents an increase of 20 percent since 2009, but the palace has not grown,” said the union, adding that during this time the number of staff members has decreased.
 
The management of the Louvre confirmed in the late morning that the museum had not opened and was expected to remain closed until the end of the day but “without further comment for the moment.”
 
The museum announced that any tickets for Monday could be refunded by writing to [email protected]
 

Disappointed visitors post photos of the long queues outside the museum on Monday morning.

 

 
 
The CGT Culture union said 150 museum staff had gathered outside the culture ministry in Paris to protest “against staff shortages”.
   
The Louvre said it would refund visitors who had bought tickets for Monday.
   
It is usually particularly busy on Mondays as it is one of the few Paris museums to stay open on a day when many others close.
   
This is not the first time Louvre workers have staged a strike over conditions: in April 2013 staff walked out due to an upsurge in pickpockets targeting tourists. 

 
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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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