10,000 tons of uncollected rubbish in Paris as unions call for more action on pension reforms

An estimated 10,000 tonnes of uncollected rubbish pile up on the streets of the French capital as unions call for more weekend protests and strikes against controversial pension reforms.

According to the interior minister, hundreds of people were arrested after two nights of protests in Paris Gerald Darmaninwhile demonstrations spread to Rennes, Nantes, Lyon and Marseille after President Emmanuel Macron used a loophole to push through reforms to France’s pension laws that would raise the retirement age to 64.

French opposition parties now have tabled a motion of no confidence in a bid to topple Macron’s government over his pension reform.

Unions have called for more local protests over the weekend and strikes are already planned for next week.

Flight cancellations are expected, with up to 30% of flights at Paris-Orly airport and 20% of flights at Marseille-Provence airport disrupted by a strike by air traffic controllers.

SNCF rail unions have called for industrial action to continue, with widespread cancellations on long-distance trains and the Paris Metro expected next Thursday; while S-Bahn journeys in Paris are already affected by strikes this weekend.

Oil refineries have begun closing since Saturday as TotalEnergies workers went on strike – an action that could eventually hit gas pumps across the country.

Unions representing electricity and gas workers have decided to also go on strike next week, demanding “the maximum disruption to work”.

In the port of Le Havre, officers and seamen operating tugboats remained ashore on Friday, significantly disrupting all activities in the port: container ships, LNG tankers and oil tankers could not enter or leave the port.

In Calais, ferry services to Great Britain were completely suspended on Friday morning.

Meanwhile, an ongoing strike by garbage collectors in Paris means an estimated 10,000 tons of garbage are piling up on the sidewalks, according to City Hall.


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