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

An estimated 10,000 tonnes of uncollected rubbish litter 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 in Paris after two nights of protests Gerald Darmaninas 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 see the retirement age raised to 64.

French opposition parties now have a motion of no confidence in an attempt to overthrow 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 expected, with up to 30% of flights at Paris-Orly airport and 20% of flights at Marseille-Provence airport disrupted by an air traffic controller strike.

SNCF rail unions have called for continued industrial action, with widespread cancellations expected on long-distance train routes and on the Paris Metro next Thursday; while suburban rail travel in Paris is already hit by strikes this weekend.

Oil refineries have begun to close from Saturday as TotalEnergies employees go on strike – a move that could eventually hit gas pumps across the country.

Unions representing electricity and gas workers have decided to strike next week as well, calling for “maximum disruption to work”.

In the port of Le Havre, officers and sailors operating tugboats remained ashore on Friday, significantly disrupting all activities in the port: container ships, LNG tankers and oil tankers were unable to enter or leave the port.

In Calais, ferry traffic to the UK came to a complete standstill on Friday morning.

Meanwhile, an ongoing strike in Paris by garbage collectors means there are an estimated 10,000 tons of rubbish on the sidewalks, according to city hall.

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