France Announces Government Worker Bonuses in Bid to Avoid Paris Olympics Strikes


NICE, France (AP) – The French government will offer bonuses to civil servants deployed across the capital during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in a bid to avoid strikes during the events this summer, the country’s Minister for Transformation and Public Administration, Stanislas Guerini, said Saturday.

Eligible employees will get a bonus ranging from 500 euros ($547) to 1,500 euros ($1,641) – in addition to their salaries – for working during the Summer Games in Paris and the ensuing Paralympics, Guerini said. He did not provide details on the criteria for the payments.

The announcement came after a major French union warned of possible strikes, including at hospitals, during the Paris Olympics, when massive influx of people is expected in the French capital.

The social situation in France remains tense, amid recent protests from teachers, police officers and farmers that followed huge demonstrations last year against the rise in retirement age.

Last month, employees at the Eiffel Tower shut down one of the world’s most visited sites for six days with a strike, demanding not only salary hikes but also better maintenance of the historic landmark.

The 135-year-old tower will feature prominently in the Summer Games. The Olympic and Paralympic medals are being embedded with pieces from a hexagonal chunk of iron taken from the historic landmark.

Paris’s tourism office estimates that close to 16 million people could visit the region during July-September.