Paris garbage collectors to end strike


Paris: Striking sanitation workers in Paris are set to return to work Wednesday – potentially ending one of the most enduring symbols of resistance to French President Emmanuel Marcon’s controversial pension bill, as nationwide protests also appeared to be winding down.

Clean-up crews were set Wednesday to start picking up heaps of trash that had piled up over their weekslong strike beginning March 6 – as well as debris from the streets following the tenth nationwide anti-pension reform protest a day earlier.

Trash mounds of up to 10,000 tonnes along the French capital’s streets – matching the weight of the Eiffel Tower – have become a striking visual and olfactory symbol of opposition to Marcon’s bill raising the retirement age from 62 to 64.

In a decision that sent waves of relief among some Paris residents, the powerful CGT union representing sanitation workers announced that the three-week-long strike would be “suspended” as of Wednesday. They will join others who were legally requisitioned over the last week to help with the daunting clean-up process.

“It’s good that the trash is collected. It’s very unsanitary, and some residents already have trouble with rats and mice. It can be dangerous if it’s left too long,” said artist Gil Franco, 73. AP


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