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A significant French union warned on Thursday that Paris waste collectors might go on strike during the summer, potentially leading to the accumulation of foul-smelling rubbish on the streets during the Olympic Games.

According to the CGT union branch representing waste collectors, potential walkouts may commence in May and persist from 1 July to 8 September. This timeframe encompasses the duration of the Games, scheduled from 26 July 26 to 11 August.

Garbage collectors in the Paris area are requesting an additional €400 ($430) per month along with a one-time bonus of €1,900 for those on duty 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 considered providing tiered bonuses for waste collectors, with amounts varying from zero up to €1,200, he elaborated.

The mayor's office informed AFP that the previously announced bonuses in April, ranging from €600 to €1,900 for employees involved in the Olympics, would also be applicable to refuse collectors. City hall stated that the CGT withdrew from negotiations upon discovering that the payout levels would be contingent on the additional workload individuals had to assume.

Paris bin collectors and rubbish collectors are set to go on strike during the Olympics. GETTY IMAGES
Paris bin collectors and rubbish collectors are set to go on strike during the Olympics. GETTY IMAGES

A scheduled meeting between Paris deputy mayors and the CGT is planned for next week. Latreche mentioned that certain garbage collectors had to cancel their vacations due to the absence of additional recruited staff.

Binmen staged a walkout on 24 April, however, they did not receive any concessions, the trade unionist informed AFP. During March of the previous year, a three-week strike by refuse collectors protesting against President Emmanuel Macron's contentious pensions reform resulted in the accumulation of over 10,000 tonnes of waste on the streets of Paris at its peak. 

Images depicting towering piles of rubbish, some reaching several meters in height, garnered global attention.