The union that represents waste and sanitation workers in Paris announced today that it would suspend a garbage collection strike that has lasted 23 days and triggered a political firestorm over the tons of trash piled along city streets.

The CGT said its members would stop blocking regional incinerators which prevented workers from collecting the garbage.

The union said it wanted to consult with its member to reconsider a strategy intended to protest a reform measure that raised the age of retirement in France, according to Franceinfo.

The plan by the government of President Emmanuel Macron led to another day of nationwide strikes on Tuesday, forcing businesses and public transportation to close or limit services.

Members of the sanitation union protested the measure by blocking three major garbage incinerators that serve the city. With nowhere to take it, sanitation workers left it in place.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, a member of the Socialist Party, has come under increasing public pressure as the garbage continued to accumulate, even though she also opposed the retirement reform.

After the estimated amount of uncollected garbage reached 10,000 tons last week, a blockade of one of the incinerators ended last Friday, while police seized control of a second one to facilitate garbage collection.

Another meeting in the crisis unit: we continue to deploy all possible means, there are 7,000 tonnes of waste left, Hidalgo wrote in a tweet. Our teams have also worked to make the routes of the event as secure as possible and to inform traders.

With the blockade of the third incinerator ending Wednesday, garbage collection should continue to accelerate. Still, city officials warned that it would take time to remove all the garbage.

Even as the crisis dragged, and officials worried about the impact on tourism and the city’s image, some locals managed to find humor in the situation.

That included this renter who thanked the Paris mayor for launching a new service that saves him time from walking down the steps of his apartment to take the garbage out.

Forbes / ABC Flash Point News 2023.

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