The mountain of waste continued to grow in Paris on Friday, on the twelfth day of the garbage collectors’ strike against the pension reform, with 10,000 tonnes of waste not collected.
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However, the government says that the requisition of agents, responsible for reducing it, “works”.
The symbolic bar of 10,000 tons was crossed Friday noon, according to the estimate of the town hall.
After the refusal on Wednesday of the left-wing mayor Anne Hidalgo, supporter of the social movement, to request the requisition of agents from the prefect of police, the latter requisitioned Thursday evening “the city’s cleanliness service” to evacuate the garbage, assured Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin on Friday morning.
“As of today (Friday), as of this morning, this requisition is working and makes it possible to collect these trash cans,” assured the minister on RTL radio. “No dumpster came out on the public side,” retorted Ms. Hidalgo’s entourage on Friday afternoon.
The capital has a special collection system, established by its first mayor and former president, Jacques Chirac: the public officials of the town hall collect waste in half of the twenty arrondissements of the capital, while the other half is served by private providers.
“We did not have a dumpster in the boroughs in public”, confirms Delphine Bürkli, the mayor of the 9th arrondissement, managed by the public and therefore very affected by the absence of collection. In addition to the city of Paris, which has its mayor, each arrondissement of the capital also has its own mayor.
Precisely, things are going a little better in the 15th arrondissement whose private service provider saw, after a legal action, his garage unlocked Thursday by the police.
With this release, the 15th, largest arrondissement in the west of Paris, now has 14 dumpsters “who work all day”, instead of 17 in normal times, indicates the mayor LR (right) Philippe Goujon.
“There are only 5 or 6% of the garbage collectors on strike,” says Delphine Bürkli, who asks to “call on the army to clear the streets”. The town hall recognizes that the rate of strikers among its cleaning agents is “below 10%”.
“These 5% have the power to block almost all the collection, by carrying out two types of action: blocking garages under municipal management and incineration centers”, sums up the mayor of the 5th arrondissement, Florence Berthout.
In Ivry-sur-Seine, near Paris, where one of the largest cremation sites is located, the police came on Friday to dislodge the strikers from one of the two adjoining garages, before withdrawing.
Access to the factory as to the two garbage truck garages is still blocked, however, noted AFP. According to the CGT union, 95% of the employees of the Ivry treatment site and all the drivers of the two garages were on strike on Friday.
The garbage collectors interviewed are determined to continue their renewable strike in rotation until Monday, the day of the general assembly which must decide on the continuation of the movement.
The government’s decision on Thursday to forcefully adopt its pension reform in the Assembly “has remobilized the troops (…). We had never had this 100% of strikers on these two garages” from Ivry, “we have it”, said on the spot Régis Vieceli, CGT general secretary of the waste and sanitation sector in Paris.
“We have twelve years less life expectancy for garbage collectors, and seven years less for sewer workers,” argued Fréderic Aubisse, 54, who works in the sewers of Paris.
With two additional years of work, “we’re going to die at work as they say, it’s not possible”.
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