Faced with “thousands of tons of garbage” still in the streets of the metropolis of Aix-Marseille-Provence after a strike that partially continues, the police station – a rare event – requisitioned the garbage collectors since Thursday.
This state intervention comes after Marseille’s beaches were covered with debris, much of which ended up in the sea, during heavy electrical storms on Monday, prompting an outcry.
On Wednesday, it is the mistral that arose, scattering everywhere the mountains of garbage that overflow in certain sectors of the 92 communes of the metropolis led by the LR Martine Vassal.
“Despite the partial resumption of the household waste collection activity after the strike that began on September 27, several thousand tons of waste are still present on the public thoroughfare of several municipalities,” lamented the Carabineros prefecture in a statement from press.
“Taking into account the persistence of attacks on public health and safety, despite the measures taken by the Metropolis to remedy it, the Bouches-du-Rhône police chief made the decision to requisition strictly necessary personnel by order for the restoration of public order, for a maximum of three days “as of Thursday, he added, specifying that this would affect some sixty agents.
Garbage collectors in Marseille resumed garbage collection after a previous strike on August 31, 1999 (AFP / Archives – SERGE PAGANO)
“I am grateful to the prefect of police, who at my request, required unannounced personnel who are now blocking collection and cleaning agents,” Martine Vassal reacted in a tweet.
The last such requisition dates back to 2010 in France’s second-largest city, regularly affected by strikes by garbage collectors. The civil security men had initially mobilized, before the prefect came to requisition garbage collectors to operate garbage transfer centers on strike at the time against pension reform.
– Effective measure? –
Mobilized in their workday and the application of the 35H, the city’s garbage dumpsters went on strike at the end of September but last Friday the collection rounds began to resume after an agreement between Metropolis, the powerful majority union Force Worker and FSU .
Garbage cans pile up on a street in Marseille, September 30, 2021 (AFP – Christophe SIMON)
The CGT had not signed the 9.5% reduction proposal of 35 hours to take into account the hard work of the collection and cleaning agents and the strike continued in certain sectors, particularly at “100% in Istres or Martigues” and in certain sectors of Marseille, according to the minority union.
On the ground, unions wonder if this requisition will be really effective.
“I don’t see the sense of a requisition because the strikers can be counted on the finger of one hand, I don’t know who they are going to requisition”, reacted Patrick Rué, secretary of FO in the City and in the Metropolis.
“It is a decision of the hussar and if the strike does not end it is because there is a problem with their pseudo-agreement,” said Véronique Dolot, from the CGT Métropole, with the AFP.
“If the president of the Metropolis had met with the strikers we would not be there,” added Patrice Kantarjian, from the departmental union CGT 13, who adds: “The problem of cleaning in Marseille did not start with the garbage dumps strike.
The socialist mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan, complained about the situation to Emmanuel Macron in an open letter published on Wednesday by La Provence. And he demanded that the City Council recover the waste collection competition, which Metropolis organizes today in its 92 municipalities.
Martine Vassal in Marseille, November 5, 2019 (AFP / Archives – GERARD JULIEN)
“Stop your attempt at + institutional coup +, it is not a healthy method,” answered right-wing (opposition) elected officials in the city hall.
The President of the Republic had harshly criticized the governance problems of the Metropolis when it arrived at the beginning of September.
Martine Vassal will preside over a metropolitan council on Thursday where a report from the Regional Chamber of Accounts on its waste management will be presented.