Union in France promises to boycott the Olympic Games

PARIS-. An important labor union French warned on Thursday of possible strikes, including in hospitals, during the Paris Olympic Gameswhen a large influx of people is expected in the capital.

Speaking to France Info, CGT general secretary Sophie Binet said the union will give advance notice of a strike in public services during the Games, which take place between July and August. The city will host the Paralympic Games between August and September

The Paris tourist office predicts that up to 15.9 million people could visit the Paris region between July and September.

“We want the government to take immediate action to ensure the success of the Games,” Binet said. “For that to happen, our warnings must be taken into account and the Games must be prepared from a social point of view. We have been saying the same thing for months. “Nobody cares anymore. It’s starting to get very tiring.”

The social situation in France remains tense, with strikes by teachers, police and farmers in recent weeks, following massive demonstrations last year against the increase in the retirement age. Binet pointed out that thousands of workers will be affected by the celebration of the Games, forced to work longer hours and delay their vacations.

“What are the social conditions of this work?” asked Binet. “How are we going to accommodate the workers who will have to come (to the Paris region) for the Games? How are we going to take care of their children when they have to work? “What kind of compensation will they receive?”

The head of the Paris 2024 organizing committee, Tony Estanguet, said last month that he hopes unions will not “spoil the party” by calling strikes during the Olympic event. But problems are already expected in the transport network since CGT announced a seven-month notice of strike – between February 5 and September 9 – over salary disputes with the transport operator RATP.

In anticipation of protests, the government agreed this year that police officers participating in the Olympic security detail will receive a bonus of up to 1,900 ($2,050).

Asked specifically about the hospital strike, Binet indicated that it is urgent for the government to inject more funds into those located in the capital region if it wants to be able to cope with the arrival of visitors.

“The state of the hospitals is catastrophic,” he said. “We are very, very, very worried about what this summer will be like. It will not be possible to blackmail the staff again by asking them to work more overtime and questioning their paid leave. They are exhausted and not “They can do more. We need a hiring plan.”

French health workers have been demanding more hiring and better salaries in public hospitals for years. Years of spending cuts choked doctors with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.