Pensions: the garbage collectors’ strike becomes a political issue in Paris
What if uncollected bins piling up in the streets rather than a station emptied of its passengers became the symbol of the protest against the pension reform ? The question of the tons of household waste left lying flat in several cities, starting with Paris, is becoming more and more political. In Paris, the movement began on March 6 and the municipal garbage collectors, who deal with several districts, have decided to continue the movement until March 20.
The strike also affects incineration centers. Spectacular, the images of the streets cluttered with garbage cans around the world and the headlines of the international press . 500 days before the opening of the Olympic Games, they give an unglamorous image of Paris.
Gérald Darmanin wants a requisition
Anne Hidalgo, the PS mayor of Paris, supports the strike movement and has decided not to carry out requisitions, a solution which she had nevertheless retained during the social movement of 2016 when the municipal garbage collectors had joined the protest against the labor law of the government of Manuel Valls.
Gérald Darmanin, the Minister of the Interior, puts pressure on him and has even moved up a gear. At the end of the day on Tuesday, he asked the town hall to requisition . The police headquarters refers to the General Code of Territorial Communities and considers that “the town hall holds the safety police on the public highway”.
The mayor of Paris opposes an end of inadmissibility, considering “not to have the power to make” the requisitions. Anne Hidalgo advises the government “to favor dialogue rather than going by force”, according to those around him quoted by AFP. The town hall and the government blame each other for the disastrous images for the capital, against a backdrop of discontent from residents and traders and amazement from tourists.
Clément Beaune and Olivia Grégoire step up to the plate
It was enough for the leaders of the majority, in particular those who have views on the town hall of Paris in 2026 , like Clément Beaune or Olivia Grégoire, are stepping up against Anne Hidalgo. They accuse him of instrumentalizing the movement and of favoring his partisan interests over his duties as mayor of Paris.
“When there is a strike in a city, there is a question of public health and public sanitation. It’s not the garbage collectors’ strike that worries me, it’s Anne Hidalgo who is striking herself, she does nothing, ”said Clément Beaune, Minister of Transport and elected representative of Paris, on France2.
Olivia Grégoire is not left out. “That the mayor of Paris has her political opinions, very good. That she supports the garbage collectors who are on strike, fine. On the other hand, that she confuses her political opinion with questions of public health, that is not acceptable, ”she denounced on RMC.
In what also looks like a communication war, the main thing is not to appear to be responsible for the inconvenience caused to Parisians. “The political responsibility lies with the mayor of Paris. She explained that she supported the movement, so that means that she assumes it on behalf of the municipality of Paris and that she imposes it on Parisians and Parisians the consequences of this, ”said Olivier Véran, the government spokesman, on leaving the Council of Ministers.