French unions have called for a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the pension reform that has sparked protests and strikes across the country. In a letter sent to the Elysee Palace, the unions warn that the situation could become explosive if the government does not withdraw its plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. The reform is widely unpopular and has led to several successful protests since January.
Meanwhile, thousands of tons of garbage are piling up in the streets of Paris due to a strike by cleaning workers who have joined the protests. The city is facing a proliferation of rats and foul odors, while unionists have also carried out power cuts in commercial and residential areas, in addition to refinery blockades.
In transportation, air travel continues to be the most affected sector, with 20–30% of flights cancelled. Train frequency has also been affected, although it has improved compared to previous days. In Paris, half of the neighborhoods have tons of garbage accumulated due to the cleaning workers’ strike.
The mayor of the 17th arrondissement of Paris has proposed hiring private companies for garbage collection due to the lack of response from the government. The unions also organized a protest at the border with Spain, which caused kilometer-long queues.
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