Paris, known as the beautiful City of Lights, is polluted with mounds of uncollected trash due to garbage collectors going on strike.
According to France 24, garbage collectors and truck drivers are enraged that an impending law is attempting to repel the retirement age from 57 to 59. Additionally, the workers want their wages increased for higher pensions. The strike has been going on for ten days.
City garbage worker Murielle Gaeremynck, 56, told reporters that she was striking because her pension will be under a monthly payment of 1,200 Euros (roughly $1,273 USD) when she retires.
Striker Nabil Latreche, 44, brought up the health risks garbage collectors face for little pay and said they deserved better.
“We work whether there’s rain, snow or wind,” Latreche said. “When we’re riding behind the truck, we breathe in all sorts of fumes. We often get sick from work.”
Some tourists praised the demonstrators and understood they were doing everything possible to fight for better circumstances.
However, other tourists are disgusted at the vast trash flooding the streets. From the smell to the sites of garbage piled up against food establishments, the result of the strike spoiled many tourists’ experiences.
“I’ve never seen a city with so much trash on the street,” Portuguese tourist Fabio Figueiredo said. “They must collect it once a week or something, it’s not very nice at all.”
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin tried to get Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo to force workers to return to work to fix the “sanitary conditions,” Politico reported. However, the city’s Deputy Mayor Antoine Guillou tweeted that the strike would end if French President Emmanuel Macron pulled the plug on the pensions reform.
Strikers plan to extend the strike, which means the close to 7,000 tons of trash could increase if government officials fail to act.
Translated, it read, “Decay is what qualifies your vision of social dialogue. If you really care about the Parisians and the French who overwhelmingly reject it, withdraw your unfair pension reform.”
Pourrissement c’est ce qui qualifie votre vision du dialogue social. Si vous vous préoccupez vraiment des Parisiens et des Français qui la rejettent massivement, retirez votre réforme des retraites injuste. https://t.co/nOAqnFMH7V
— Antoine Guillou (@AntoineGuillou) March 12, 2023