It is hardly what springs to mind when you picture the south of France. But streets full of rubbish are the reality in Marseille.
Refuse collectors walked out two weeks ago to denounce pension reforms. Hence thousands of tonnes of waste, raising fears for public health.
Although not on the same scale, another binmens’ strike has hit Paris. Here workers have also downed tools in defence of their jobs and salaries. They are hoping the capital’s role as a tourist destination could work in their favour.
“If we get to a point where unfortunately Paris becomes like Marseille, buried under rubbish, I think that the situation may change because Paris is France’s showcase,” said refuse collector Olivier Nave.
While some are counting the immediate cost of the stoppages, others are focusing on what the long-term damage of this dispute could be to France’s image abroad.