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No cars towed as pound staff strike

Dispute over working conditions could close car pounds across Paris

Drivers in Paris can breathe a little more easily on Wednesday, after car pound operators filed notice of a strike in a dispute over working conditions.

It is unlikely any vehicles will be towed on Wednesday after the CGT ASPS (Accueil Surveillance Prévention Sécurité) union said that its members would walk out on the first day of indefinite strike action in protest over working conditions which, they say, have worsened since January, when responsibility for warden services moved from the préfecture de police to City Hall.

But motorists who park illegally will not avoid a fine, even if their car is not towed away.

The union said that the transfer from the police to the Mairie "took place in a brutal manner" and is calling for an overhaul of the organisational structure, including new working hours and compulsory Sunday shifts.

This is not the first time impound lot agents have gone on strike. The CGT said a strike last October had the support of 75% of staff at pounds in Paris. Since then, union officials said, a number of promises made during negotiations have not been kept.

"The City has been very responsive and has embarked on an ambitious negotiation process since these officers arrived from the police prefecture. Negotiations are under way and are going well," the Mairie said in a statement.

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