The streets of Paris are overwhelmed by the stench of garbage after garbage workers joined the pension protest strike


he streets of Paris are littered with uncollected garbage as garbage workers strike against plans to raise the retirement age to 64.

A bill to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 was pushed ahead after it passed the Senate despite strikes, protests and unclaimed trash in the capital.

Three incinerators outside the capital were hit by walkouts, with entire sidewalks covered in black sacks and overflowing bins.

Syctom, the Paris household waste authority, said it has redirected garbage collection to other regional facilities and has not yet called the police.

The strike has hit some of Paris’s most exclusive areas, including the 5th, 6th and 16th arrondissements.

City hall workers have been picking up rubbish in just half of Paris’s boroughs over the past week, while other boroughs are being served by private firms that have not gone on strike.

AFP via Getty Images

Pastry chef Romain Gaia, who works in the 2nd district, where garbage cans are not collected, told AFP: “It’s terrible, there are rats and mice.”

However, he supported the strikes despite the smell of increasing garbage.

“You are right to strike,” said the 36-year-old. “They don’t usually have power, but when they stop working, they really do have (power).”

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said late Saturday that she looked forward to the final passage of the bill, hailing it as “a crucial step towards reform that will secure the future of our pension system”.

However, the legislation now has to go before a committee of seven senators and seven politicians from the House of Commons to reach a compromise between the two chambers’ versions of the text on Wednesday.

The unions have planned an eighth round of nationwide protest marches to mark the occasion.

President Emmanuel Macron has turned down a request from unions to meet with him, which left-wing CGT union leader Philippe Martinez said was tantamount to “pointing the finger”.

The unions claim that the French are expressing their opposition to the reform on the streets and through strikes, which, albeit reduced in some sectors, are continuing.

The government hopes to avoid using a special constitutional power to force the bill without a vote by Parliament, hoping that passage of the measure by Parliament would give additional legitimacy to the controversial bill. The streets of Paris are overwhelmed by the stench of garbage after garbage workers joined the pension protest strike

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