Rubbish is piled high on streets in Paris as negotiations to end a four-day strike by refuse collectors in the French capital is deadlocked.
The walk-out by members of the Confederation Generale Du Travail – the CGT union – is over pay and career progression. The rubbish is leaving a bad smell with many visitors.
“It doesn’t present a very good image of the city. I am only here for a few days and I am not sure I will return,” said one tourist.
The City Hall has been occupied by members of the union. Officials say about half of the districts in Paris are affected and around 45 percent of the refuse collectors on strike.
“On Wednesday morning we were at the negotiating table. Wednesday morning it was contempt. Only contempt and nothing on the table.
‘What we are asking from Madame Hidalgo – the mayor – is to sit down with us as fast as possible. It is Madame Hidalgo who is taking the people, the traders and the taxpayers hostage,” said Regis Vieceli, Secretary General, CGT Union.
The union claims Paris is spending millions outsourcing the work to private companies while their workers’ wages stagnate.
It wants its members to handed new grades which would mean a 70 euro monthly rise in their pay packets.