Paris rubbish collectors threaten Olympics strike over 'excessive workload'

Paris rubbish collectors could strike over the summer, a major French union said Thursday, raising the spectre of piles of stinking trash on the streets during the Olympic Games.

Walkouts could start in May and continue from July 1 to September 8, the CGT union branch representing binmen warned, a period that includes the Games, which run from July 26 to August 11.

Refuse workers in the Paris region are demanding an extra 400 euros ($430) per month and a one-off 1,900-euro bonus for those working during the Olympics.

"We're going to be giving it our all and we want that taken into consideration," Nabil Latreche, a member of the CGT-FTDNEEA union, told AFP.

"The municipal police are getting a bonus and we have the same employer. We're going to have an excessive workload too with the 15 million tourists that are expected," Latreche said.

Paris city hall had discussed offering graduated bonuses for rubbish collectors, ranging from nothing up to 1,200 euros, he added.

The mayor's office told AFP an April announcement of bonuses of between 600 and 1,900 euros for workers contributing to the Olympics effort would extend to refuse collection as well.

The CGT walked out of talks on learning the level of payouts would be dependent on how much extra work people had to take on, city hall added.

A meeting between Paris deputy mayors and the CGT is slated for next week.


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