Heaps of trash pile up on Paris streets amid protests against France retirement law: Photos

Heaps of trash have been piling up on the streets of Paris and other French cities as garbage workers continue to strike, protesting President Emmanuel Macron’s unpopular decision to raise the country's retirement age.

Tuesday marks the 16th day of Paris garbage collectors' strike. The growing piles of trash have become a powerful symbol of their protest.

Despite the smell and the garbage-filled streets, with some piles standing taller than an average person, many Parisians are expressing support with the sanitation workers on strike.

"I’m 200% behind these guys," Vincent Salazar, a 62-year-old artistic consultant who lives in Paris, told The Associated Press. Garbage collectors are "smelling (trash) all day long... They should get early retirement."

Polling shows the majority of French people oppose Macron's plan, which raises the age when workers start collecting a government pension by two years. The retirement age moves from 62 to 64 for most workers, and from 57 to 59 for garbage collectors.

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Macron has argued that raising France's retirement age will make the country's pension system financially sustainable in the future. He pushed the legislation through French Parliament last week without a vote, due to a special constitutional article.

While the bill still faces a review by the Constitutional Council before it can be signed into law, the government won two no-confidence motions put forth by lawmakers who strongly oppose the legislation on Monday. Now, the bill is considered adopted.

Still, sanitation strikers and others fighting the pension changes are not backing down. Unions in France have called for new protests nationwide later this week.

Garbage on city streets will also likely continue to pile up. Here are images from Paris over the last week.

A cyclist rides past an uncollected garbage pile next to the cafe "The President" in Paris, Tuesday, March 21, 2023.
A cyclist rides past an uncollected garbage pile next to the cafe "The President" in Paris, Tuesday, March 21, 2023.
People walk past a pile of garbage near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, March 12, 2023, as strikes continue with uncollected garbage piling higher by the day.
People walk past a pile of garbage near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, March 12, 2023, as strikes continue with uncollected garbage piling higher by the day.
March 20, 2023: A man walks past a pile of garbage bags that have been piling up since waste collectors went on strike against the French government's proposed pensions reform, in Paris.
March 20, 2023: A man walks past a pile of garbage bags that have been piling up since waste collectors went on strike against the French government's proposed pensions reform, in Paris.
A woman holds a placard that reads, "all heat the Macronie", referring to French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest in Paris, Friday, March 17, 2023.
A woman holds a placard that reads, "all heat the Macronie", referring to French President Emmanuel Macron during a protest in Paris, Friday, March 17, 2023.
Uncollected garbage is piled up on a street in Paris, March 15, 2023, during an ongoing strike by sanitation workers. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla, File)
Uncollected garbage is piled up on a street in Paris, March 15, 2023, during an ongoing strike by sanitation workers. (AP Photo/Thomas Padilla, File)
Piles of uncollected garbage is set on fire by protesters after a demonstration near Concorde square, in Paris, March 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly, File)
Piles of uncollected garbage is set on fire by protesters after a demonstration near Concorde square, in Paris, March 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly, File)
CGT unionists march with flares and banners on the ring road in Paris on March 17, 2023, as they block the traffic to protest, a day after the French government pushed a pensions reform through parliament without a vote, using article 49,3 of the constitution.
CGT unionists march with flares and banners on the ring road in Paris on March 17, 2023, as they block the traffic to protest, a day after the French government pushed a pensions reform through parliament without a vote, using article 49,3 of the constitution.
Demonstrators stage a protest in Paris, Friday, March 17, 2023.
Demonstrators stage a protest in Paris, Friday, March 17, 2023.
Uncollected garbage is piled up on a street in Paris, March 20, 2023, as strikes continue with uncollected garbage piling higher by the day. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard, File)
Uncollected garbage is piled up on a street in Paris, March 20, 2023, as strikes continue with uncollected garbage piling higher by the day. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard, File)
A woman walks past an uncollected garbage pile in Paris, Monday, March 20, 2023.
A woman walks past an uncollected garbage pile in Paris, Monday, March 20, 2023.
Uncollected garbage is piled up on a street in Paris, March 20, 2023, as sanitation workers continue to strike. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard, File)
Uncollected garbage is piled up on a street in Paris, March 20, 2023, as sanitation workers continue to strike. (AP Photo/Aurelien Morissard, File)

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Contributing: The Associated Press.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Paris protests against France retirement law leave trash on streets