French police threaten to disrupt airports during Olympics over working conditions

The French police threaten to disrupt the operation of airports during the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris if their demands for bonuses and decent working conditions are not met.

Law enforcement officers in the French capital and other cities are protesting, urging the Ministry of the Interior to address their demand for a 2,000 euro “Olympic bonus” and ensure the approval of social measures, including summer childcare.

“We will inspire fear if our demands are not met. There will be more radical actions. We’ll blockade airports, forcing agents to check passports not in three minutes but in 25. Then you’ll see the boss of Paris airport pick up his phone and call the government,” said Shafia Butara, administrative secretary of the Alliance Police police union.

Last week, police officers paraded in open-top buses through Paris to urge authorities to speed up negotiations on working conditions and pay during the July 26–August 11 Olympics.

The Olympics, which begin in the middle of the national holiday season, will put additional strain on the Parisian workforce amid heightened security threats and chronic understaffing in police, hospitals, and public transportation.

A force of 30,000 police and soldiers will provide security during the opening ceremony on July 26, when some 500,000 people are expected to watch athletes and delegations swim down the Seine.

“The ministry has to understand that we are 13 unions,” Michael Vinard, head of the police forensic scientists’ union, told Reuters.

“We serve the state. We want the Olympics to be successful, but our government is not listening to our demands. They should have foreseen that, for example, kindergartens would be closed,” he added.

The Summer Olympic Games in Paris will run from July 26 to August 11, and the Paralympic Games from August 28 to September 8.

Officials have already warned residents of the capital about logistical difficulties during the Olympics, and dozens of hotels in the center of Paris have already raised their prices several times higher for the opening dates of the Games.

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