Garbage collectors’ strike in Paris: towards a way out of the crisis
The garbage collectors’ strike in Paris, where 10,000 tonnes of waste are outstanding, seemed to reach a turning point on Friday, with the end of the movement against pension reform in two incinerators and the requisition of the third by the police.
On the 19th day of the strike, the volume of uncollected waste in the capital returned to its record level, already reached a week earlier, with the symbolic bar of 10,000 tonnes of garbage strewing the Parisian sidewalks, according to the town hall.
And this, despite the requisitions ordered for a week by the police headquarters, against the advice of the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, who supports the movement.
Asked about the rate of strikers among municipal agents, the first deputy Emmanuel Grégoire said Friday morning, during a press briefing, that it had gone from 6% to 25% since the start of the requisitions, underlining the “unproductive character of such measures”.
However, on Friday, “158 dumpsters came out, 10% more than a normal Friday,” said Anne Hidalgo during the same press briefing.
And at the same time, Syctom, the metropolitan union which manages the three incineration plants surrounding the capital, announced to AFP the end of the movement in two of them, Saint-Ouen (Seine-Saint-Denis) and Issy-les-Moulineaux (Hauts-de-Seine).
“The factories are unblocked” even if that of Issy was the subject in the morning of a “small filter, object of personnel outside the factory”, according to Syctom.
For Syctom, it is the “definitive end” of the movement on these two sites, where the incineration furnaces “should reopen tomorrow” on Saturday, the employees waiting “to have enough waste in the pit”.
These end of movement “will allow us to return to completely normal operation”, hopes Syctom.
The strikes and blockades of these exit points for the capital’s waste have contributed, along with the strike by the garbage collectors of the City of Paris, to the accumulation of waste in the capital for almost three weeks, to the great displeasure of the inhabitants and tradespeople.
– “Initiative” of the prefecture –
As for the third site, the most important, in Ivry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne), “the requisition of the operator’s employees” was “in progress” in the middle of the afternoon, said Syctom to AFP, while a general meeting scheduled for 2:00 p.m. was to decide on the continuation of the movement.
This requisition is “at the sole initiative of the police headquarters”, underlines Syctom, which has refused since the beginning of the movement to call on the police to unblock its sites, preferring to transfer the waste to external sites.
In response, “the comrades are calling on all the forces that can come and help them block the incinerator,” a source from CGT Energie told AFP.
An end to the conflict is also emerging in the 15th arrondissement of the capital, where agents of the private service provider, Pizzorno Environnement, were also on strike for almost a month.
The management of the company announced that it had signed Friday “with the union representatives of the CGT a strike exit protocol”, which allows “the resumption of work of the striking personnel” and “the complete resumption of waste collection”.
This recovery, combined with the reopening of the nearby Issy site and the reinforcement of “additional staff, and this throughout the weekend”, will make it possible “to treat the 1,000 tonnes of residual waste and to accelerate the gradual return normal”, welcomed the LR mayor of the 15th century, Philippe Goujon, in a press release.
More in the center of Paris, Thursday evening, dozens of garbage cans had been set on fire in the narrow streets of the Opéra district, among the many violence and clashes with the police which marked the day of mobilization against the reform retirements.