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IN PICTURES: Paris bins overflow as waste depot strike continues

Overflowing bins and piled up garbage have become a feature of some parts of Paris as striking workers continue a blockade at the city's waste depots.

IN PICTURES: Paris bins overflow as waste depot strike continues
All photos: AFP

Workers at the three huge incinerator plants – in Ivry sur Seine (Val-de-Marne), Issy-les-Moulineaux (Hauts-de-Seine) and Saint-Ouen (Seine-Saint-Denis) – that process most of Paris' waste have been striking for 13 days now.

 

According to the hardline CGT union, 60 percent of workers at the three waste depots are striking.

READ ALSO Are there really 'no strikes in France any more'? Not quite

While majority of the city's waste collectors are not striking, with the plants partially closed and the ovens turned off, there is nowhere to take the garbage. 

 

The pile-ups have been limited to certain parts of the city, with the arrondissements in the city centre being the hardest hit.

The demonstration is the latest in the long series of ongoing protests over plans to reform the French pension system – the same dispute that paralysed public transport in Paris and on the country's railways in December and early January.

The French government wants to do away with the 42 different pension regimes that the country currently operates and instead have one single, universal system.

Under the current system many public sector workers have 'special regimes' that allow them to retire earlier than the legal retirement age of 62.

 

The government has promised to keep early retirement exemptions for certain professions such as firefighters, police and the military.

But workers at the city incinerator plants argue that they should continue to be allowed to stop work early because their life expectancy is seven years less than for the average French person.

 

In a city where public parks have battled rodent infestations in recent years, the trash pile-ups have raised public health concerns.

 

Pictures of the uncollected waste have been posted on Twitter alongside messages asking the government to intervene.

 

 

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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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