While protests against French President Emmanuel Marcon’s controversial pension Bill appeared to be coming to a close, sanitation workers in Paris were prepared to resume work in order to remove the mountains of trash that have accumulated throughout their weeks-long strike.
As a striking visual representation of opposition to Mr. Marcon’s Bill raising the retirement age from 62 to 64, trash mounds of up to 10,000 tonnes along the streets of the French capital.
The three-week strike by sanitation workers, according to CGT, was called off on Wednesday. They would work alongside others who had already been officially requisitioned to assist with the cleanup.
“It’s good that the trash is collected. It’s very unsanitary, and some residents already have trouble with rats and mice. It can be dangerous if it’s left too long,” according to 73-year-old artist Gil Franco.
Some believe that the declining number of protesters signals the beginning of the end of protests against the pension Bill. Although much fewer people took part in the protests countrywide, Tuesday’s protests in Paris saw dozens of arrests and violent outbursts.
740,000 protestors were counted nationally by the interior ministry, down from more than one million five days earlier when people expressed their outrage at Mr. Macron’s order to force the Bill through parliament without a vote.
The struggle against the law is far from done for unions. On April 6, there will be an additional eleventh day of action. As this was going on, unions in the Czech Republic protested the government’s plan to raise the country’s retirement age by four years, to 68, alongside the opposition parties in the country.
The idea was opposed by about 2,000 protesters who rallied in front of government buildings in Prague on Wednesday. The original pension reform proposal recently seemed to be retracted by Labour and Social Affairs Minister Marian Jurecka, but his ministry afterward issued a statement stating that the retirement age increase was still up for discussion.
Published by HOLR Magazine.