June 1, 2023

Strike of the garbage collectors in Paris: the requisitions begin to have effects

The sidewalks of the capital were still strewn with overflowing bins and bags of rubbish this weekend. Sunday, on the fourteenth day of the garbage collectors’ strike against the pension reform, the Paris City Hall reported to “Echos” “a slight drop” in the volume of uncollected waste, estimated at 9,600 tonnes, against 10,000 tonnes on Friday and as much on Saturday. Normally, 3,000 tons are collected every day by 2,500 garbage collectors.

The requisitions of garbage collectors decided on Wednesday evening by the prefect of police of Paris in the face of the refusal of the socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo – who supports this social movement – to proceed there herself have begun. On Saturday, the prefecture indicated that “five dump truck garages had resumed activity” and that “two treatment concession companies as well as several agents (had) been required since” Friday. The Derichebourg company had announced the day before “to have been requisitioned” by the police headquarters “in order to contribute to a minimum garbage collection service”. “Dumpsters came out of all the garages”, indicates for its part the Town Hall.


“It’s happening gradually. We had 14 dump trucks on Saturday and 11 on Sunday. The last time we had 13 dumpsters was March 6th. Requisitions produce their effects. But it will take a week to absorb the mass of garbage that is still on the sidewalks, “says to the” Echos “Geoffroy Boulard, the mayor Les Républicains du 17e district, which had asked the Ministry of the Interior to make requisitions. “We hope there will be no blockage on Monday,” he worries.

The elected official takes the opportunity to ask again for the privatization of waste collection in the 17e arrondissement, one of the ten arrondissements where it is provided by municipal agents. Thursday, during the Council of Paris, Delphine Bürkli, the mayor (Horizons) of 9e arrondissement, had deemed it “urgent to reconsider the hybrid organization of waste collection in Paris”: “No one understands anything […] And this organization is completely unfair,” she said.

A request to which Anne Hidalgo opposed an end of inadmissibility: “I will not go back to this model invented by Jacques Chirac […] because it is a flexible system that has allowed us to pool resources, ”replied the mayor.

Legality control

For their part, the strikers of the three waste incineration sites produced by Paris have set up “filtering dams” to let garbage collection trucks pass, a union representative told AFP. At a general meeting on Friday, the strikers “continued the action until Tuesday inclusive, with filtering of trucks” in Issy-les-Moulineaux on Saturday and Sunday, then in Saint-Ouen on Monday and Tuesday, said Fatiha Lahrech, delegate CGT union at the Issy-les-Moulineaux site. Letting trucks pass is a “security decision to limit the risk of an epidemic”, she explained.

As “Le Parisien” revealed on Friday, the Minister of Public Service, Stanislas Guerini, also asked the prefect of the Ile-de-France region for a legality check on the mode of retention of strike days linked to the pension reform for striking agents that the City of Paris would consider applying. “I have very serious doubts about the legitimacy of this device”, explained the minister on Friday on France 2.

“I think that since the start of the strike, Anne Hidalgo has had a militant management of the strike. It seems to me that this is a new demonstration of it, ”he said. In this file, which took a very political turn from the start, other members of the majority, such as ministers Clément Beaune and Olivia Grégoire – both presumed to have ambitions for the municipal elections of 2026 in Paris -, were already taken to the mayor of Paris.

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