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Olympic Games-2024: which professions are likely to strike during the competition?

Will social movements disrupt the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games? While the President of the Republic called this Monday for an “Olympic truce in social matters”, the trade union organizations do not hear it that way.

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Olympic Games-2024: which professions are likely to strike during the competition?

Will social movements disrupt the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games? While the President of the Republic called this Monday for an “Olympic truce in social matters”, the trade union organizations do not hear it that way. On April 10, the CGT filed strike notices in the three branches of the civil service for the period from April 15 to September 15, which therefore includes the Olympic Games (July 26-August 11) and Paralympic Games (August 28-8 september).

The center is demanding long-term recruitment, bonuses as well as leave and teleworking rights. Asked, the union explains that it is demanding a “common base of compensation for all civil servants”. “When we politely asked the government to discuss, during meetings or by mail, we did not get a response,” laments Céline Verzelettri, co-general secretary of the Ufse-CGT, the federal union of trade unions of State. Hence the threat of a walkout, to speed up the negotiations. Transport, hospital, police, tourism... Le Figaro takes stock of potential social movements, sector by sector.

Police officers and gendarmes working in Île-de-France will be on the front line during the Olympics. This is why the government has committed to paying them a bonus of up to 1,900 euros. A measure which should, a priori, defuse any risk of social conflict within the national police.

But it is not the same for the municipal police. No compensation is currently envisaged for the latter. Questioned by AFP, Stéphane Poupeau (SNSP) warned at the beginning of March that “actions” would be carried out in certain large cities “during the passage of the flame”, or during the Olympics “if things do not change by there". In the capital, bonuses ranging from 600 to 1,900 euros will be offered by the City of Paris to municipal police, youth or cleanliness agents, depending on their degree of involvement during the Games period.

In 2012, during the London Olympic Games, British customs officers began a resounding walkout on the eve of the opening of the competition. What will happen to French agents? At the start of the year, the CGT-Douane filed a strike notice covering the period of the Olympic Games. “Customs officers legitimately deplore the vagueness orchestrated around leave, bonuses, missions, support measures, accreditations, the lack of reinforcement and staff in certain units,” justifies the union. The situation seems to have evolved since then. In a press release dated at the end of February, the union referred to a "beginning of light at the end of the tunnel", indicating that the Ministry of Public Accounts had been favorable to the granting of a bonus (which could go up to 1900 euros gross) for mobilized agents. Enough to remove the specter of a strike among customs officers, although the strike notice for the branch has not been lifted.

800 full-time equivalents. This is the contingent of additional caregivers that Paris Public Assistance-Hospitals will need to cope with the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Management offers those who give up part of their vacation to receive a bonus ranging from 800 euros gross per week for employees in category C, to 2,500 euros gross for doctors. “Insufficient” and “discriminatory” with regard to the CGT, FO, Unsa and CFTC unions, which in turn are demanding “2,000 euros for everyone in all services” and respect for “three weeks minimum” of summer leave . If new meetings are planned in the coming months, a white coat strike during the competition cannot be ruled out. Especially since at the beginning of January, the president of the Association of Emergency Physicians of France, Patrick Pelloux, had mentioned a possible “work-to-rule strike” by the profession during the summer months.

No one has forgotten the mountains of waste that piled up last winter in the streets of the capital, during the mobilization of garbage collectors against pension reform. “The same thing could happen during the Olympics if negotiations on bonuses and others do not succeed,” warns Céline Verzelettri (CGT). Garbage collectors and other territorial agents in the “Waste” sector are in fact included in the strike notice filed by the CGT for the public service. This could give a very disadvantageous image of the “City of Lights” in the eyes of the world.

“There will be no strike” in transport, said Transport Minister Patrice Vergriete at the end of February. One hundred days before the start of the competition, uncertainty hovers over the main transport networks. Only the main air traffic controllers' union announced last September an "Olympic truce" of strikes until September 2024. The management of the Aéroports de Paris (ADP) group also agreed to pay a bonus of 70 to 100 euros gross per vacation during and after the Olympic events.

The situation could be more complicated with regard to public transport in the Ile-de-France region. Negotiations for bonuses are not finished for all RATP agents. On the buses, an agreement has been reached: bonuses will diverge depending on the professions and lines. Bonuses will range from 15 euros to 25 euros per day worked during the competition for certain agents, while others will be able to receive a bonus of an additional 100 or 200 euros. Negotiations are still pending regarding metro drivers.

Beyond exceptional bonuses, the CGT-RATP wants lasting salary increase measures within the framework of obligatory annual negotiations (NAO). This is why the union filed this strike notice on February 5 until the end of the Paralympic Games, which will end on September 8. This strike notice thus constitutes “a means of pressure” likely to encourage “management to review its copy” between now and then.

As for the SNCF, negotiations are still ongoing. At the end of March, SNCF CEO Jean-Pierre Farandou indicated that discussions on Olympic Games-2024 bonuses were likely to “converge” in May or June. “At this stage”, for the Olympics, “I do not see any particular risk” of disruptions and “I am not pessimistic at all”, he assured. The railway company offers employees mobilized during the period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games a bonus of 50 euros per day and an additional bonus of 200 to 500 euros depending on the period in which they take their leave. But the unions remain vigilant: they estimate that the figure of 1,500 euros, the maximum amount of cumulative bonuses, will undoubtedly only be reserved for a minority of agents. To be continued...

It is not only in the public service that certain professionals are threatening to walk off the job during the Olympic Games. In the private sector too, the shadow of the strike hangs over the competition. The hotel and catering sector, on the front line, could also mobilize, “due to the very harsh working conditions expected on the ground”, according to a CGT official.

In businesses too, some employees are grumbling. The Force Ouvrière trade federation has already demanded an “exceptional bonus in relation to the constraints that trade workers will suffer, linked to the organization of the Olympics”. Unionized employees, who are not subject to strike notice, will take “the necessary actions to make the demands of the sector heard, in particular the demand for a bonus”, warns Carole Prioult, general secretary of the Trade Union of Employees and Executives of Paris within FO.

As for tourist sites, visitors could also have unpleasant surprises depending on the case. Employees working at the Eiffel Tower, who have been mobilized on several occasions in recent weeks, have not ruled out returning the table during the Olympics. “The resumption of the social movement “will depend on the outcome of the negotiations” with the town hall, indicated Stéphane Dieu, CGT delegate of the site, at the end of March to AFP. The option of a prolonged closure of the tourist monument is possible if the negotiations lead to “a finding of disagreement”. “It’s an option that remains on the table even if no one, neither us nor the City nor France, has any interest in that,” said the trade unionist.

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