Paris police chief ordered to force striking garbage collectors back to work


The French government has made it clear that it would use a controversial power to force Paris garbage collectors to return to work after days of continues strike against the pension reforms.

Paris Police chief Laurent Nunez has informed the city's socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo - who sides with the protestors - that the government will use 'requisition' power, which practically means forcing the striking trash collectors under threat of prosecution.

Workers from many sectors walked off in protest against President Emmanuel Macron's plans to reform the pension system, including the legal retirement age to be increased to 64 and at least 43 years of work to be eligible for full pensions.

'The demand of Paris rubbish collectors, who don't want to work for two years longer… is fair,' Hidalgo said in response to the threats by the police.

Her deputy Emmanuel Grégoire reportedly told French media: 'Requisition would not work, we do not believe in it … we are not going against the exercise of the right to strike as long as there is no danger to the lives of others or to public health, and we're making sure that's not the case.'

President Macron decided to use Article 49.3 of the constitution to adopt the controversial draft pension bill without a vote in parliament.

The government does not have the absolute majority in the parliament, so it would have risked seeing its draft bill rejected by the members of parliament - hence Macron's decision - if Article 49.3 had not been invoked.

Source: Anadolu Agency