Facing unpaid overtime, cuts and austerity, French cops threaten to join Gilets Jaunes protesters

When French President (and ex-investment banker) Macron decided to cut taxes for the super-rich and make up the shortfall by taxing diesel fuel (widespread in poor rural areas) but not private jet fuel, he put the already-precarious French treasury into an even more precarious state.

Thanks to those choices, the streets of France have erupted into sustained, relentless "gilets jaunes" protests, and French cops have accumulated 23,000,000 hours of overtime policing the protests, but have not been paid for any of it (see above, re: starved treasury).

Activists within police unions are now threatening to go out on strike, joining the yellow vest protesters; others are calling for work-to-rule slowdown actions. They are particularly incensed that Macron has proposed to balance his budget by cutting $70.8m from the national police budget.

The government is offering a one-off bonus of around $342 to each officer deployed to face the gilets jaunes protests, totaling around $37.7 million. But this may not be enough to placate a force that claims to have been overworked and underpaid for years—unpaid overtime, for example, totals around $313 million nationwide, Le Monde reported.

Secretary of State Laurent Nuñez told the RMC radio station Wednesday he would work on a payment schedule to address the government's debts, though he warned that the exact details remain under discussion with the unions.

France Protests: Police Threaten to Join Protesters, Demand Better Pay and Conditions [David Brennan/Newsweek]

(Image: Rog01)