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Coronavirus

Contract Workers Stage Paris Flash-Mob Protest

PARIS — Contract workers from France’s all-important food, catering and events industry have held a protest between the Louvre Museum and Champs-Elysees to spread the message that the virus pandemic is killing their jobs.

The flash mob-style demonstration included about 30 people dressed in black simulating strangulation with their ties and putting signs reading “sentenced to death” into a coffin.

France’s government spent billions on temporary unemployment benefits for workers, but contract workers in the food, catering and special events industry were not included.

Anne-Laure Boggio is a maître d’hôtel in Paris and isn’t sure how she and her family will make it through the year.

Boggio said: “I gave birth last year, using up parts of my unemployment benefits, now with COVID, I used the rest of my benefits. …“In September, I don’t know if I’ll receive welfare allowances, and I have two mouths to feed.”

Although restaurants and national borders are gradually reopening in France, tourism is expected to remain muted. Large gatherings are banned until at least the end of the summer, making it difficult for people like Boggio to find employment.

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