An estimated 10,000 tonnes of uncollected rubbish is piling up on the streets of the French capital as unions call for more weekend demonstrations and strike action against controversial pension reforms.
According to the interior minister, hundreds of people have been arrested in Paris after two nights of protests. by Gerald Darmanwhile protests spread to Rennes, Nantes, Lyon and Marseille after President Emmanuel Macron used a legislative loophole to force an overhaul of France’s pension laws that would raise the retirement age to 64.
French opposition parties now have made a motion of no confidence trying to topple Macron’s government over his pension reform.
The unions have called for more local demonstrations over the weekend, and strikes are already being planned for next week.
Flight cancellations are expected, as the air traffic controllers’ strike will disrupt up to 30% of flights at Paris-Orly Airport and 20% of flights at Marseille-Provence Airport.
SNCF rail unions have called for industrial action to continue, with large-scale cancellations expected on long-distance train routes and the Paris Metro next Thursday; while suburban train journeys in Paris are already affected by this weekend’s strikes.
Oil refineries have begun shutting down since Saturday as TotalEnergies workers begin a strike — actions that could eventually hit gas pumps around the country.
The trade unions representing electricity and gas workers have decided to strike next week as well and demand “maximum disruption to work”.
Officers and sailors operating tugboats in the port of Le Havre remained ashore on Friday, significantly disrupting all operations in the port: container ships, LNG carriers and oil tankers could not enter or leave the port.
In Calais, ferry traffic to Great Britain stopped completely on Friday morning.
At the same time, the garbage collectors’ strike going on in Paris means, according to the city hall, an estimated 10,000 tons of garbage piled up on the sidewalks.