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LIFE IN PARIS

Serge the Paris Metro rabbit gets a feminist makeover

If you've ever travelled on the Paris Metro you will almost certainly recognise this rabbit - Serge by name.

Serge the Paris Metro rabbit gets a feminist makeover
Photo: AFP

Serge features on stickers on the doors of trains on the Paris Metro system, warning travellers that “tu risques de te faire pincer très fort” (you risk a very hard pinch) if they get between train doors that are closing.

But now Serge, who has been the mascot of the Paris Metro since 1977 and has his own Twitter account, has been given a bit of a feminist makeover and is issuing another warning.

 

Parisienne artist Zoia, 20, has created her own set of stickers warning against groping on the Metro.

In the stickers, Serge is pictured between two lady rabbits, one of whom brandishes a baseball bat while warning him: “Attention! Ne mets pas tes mains sur mon corps, tu risques de te faire défoncer très fort!” (Warning! Don't put your hands on my body or you risk a very hard wallop!”

Sexual harassment on the Paris Metro is an ongoing problem with a survey in 2017 showing that almost half of women had suffered unwanted attention, groping of threats while travelling on the Metro.

RATP has stepped up security in the face of complaints from fed-up commuters, adding more cameras to the network and extra employees.

Zoia's stickers are being put up on the Metro, but also in bars, cafés and on posters and you can even buy a T-shirt version of it.

 

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STRIKES

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed

Striking airport workers have blocked part Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport, with some flights already delayed by at least one hour.

Striking workers block Paris airport terminal, flights delayed
Striking airport workers outside Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris. Photo: Geoffroy van der Hasselt | AFP

Last month, trade unions representing workers at the Aéroports de Paris (ADP) – the city’s Charles-de-Gaulle-Roissy and Orly airports – called for a strike between July 1st and July 5th in an ongoing dispute between French airport workers and bosses over contract renegotiations.

A second wave of protests are expected next week, after a strike notice was filed for July 9th.

Tensions mounted on Friday morning as some 400 protesters staged a raucous demonstration at CDG’s terminal 2E, which mostly deals with flights outside the Schengen zone, as police officers looked on.

At Orly airport, meanwhile, some 250 people demonstrated “outside”, while a small group was inside.

The dispute is over a long-term plan by ADP to bring in new work contracts for employees at the airports, which unions say will lower pay, job losses and a reduction in rights and bonuses for employees.

The strike is being jointly called by the CGT, CFE-CGE, Unsa, CFDT and FO unions, who said in a joint press release that the proposals will “definitively remove more than a month’s salary from all employees and force them to accept geographical mobility that will generate additional commuting time”.

Unions say that staff face dismissal if they do not sign the new contracts.

ADP said on Wednesday that it expected ‘slight delays for some flights but no cancellations’ to services – but it urged travellers to follow its social media operations for real-time updates.

On Thursday, the first day of action, 30 percent of flights were delayed between 15 minutes and half-an-hour.

ADP’s CEO Augustin de Romanet had said on Tuesday that ‘everything would be done to ensure no flight is cancelled’. 

ADP reported a loss of €1.17 billion in 2020. 

Stressing that discussions are continuing over the proposed new contracts, the CEO called for “an effort of solidarity, with a red line: no forced layoffs.”

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