PARIS (Reuters) - As northern Europe swelters, Parisian bus drivers have won a years-long battle: the right to wear shorts during a heat wave.

French public officials generally wear formal uniforms, and employers show little flexibility. But, bowing to longstanding staff requests, state-owned transport operator RATP will allow its 15,000 drivers to wear bermuda shorts or skirts from June to September when temperatures rise above 28 Celsius (82F).

"It has been a recurring conversation every year and this year, surprise, we got them," said bus driver Abdelkader Arioua.

Men - who make up 90 percent of the drivers - will receive trousers that can be turned into shorts with a zipper, while women will receive skirts.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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