Air France Cabin Crew Call Strike On January 19

Air France flight attendants have announced a strike for January 19 in protest of the controversial pension reform plan President Emmanuel Macron outlined earlier this week.

According to his ideas, Macron wants to increase the retirement age from 62 to 64. Since assuming power in 2017, Macron has been trying to implement the reform package, which would take effect in 2030.

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After strong union opposition, Macron’s government swiftly canceled the proposal three years ago. However, Paris is once again presenting the reform package in an effort to reduce the likelihood of a significant budget deficit developing in the near future.

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Unions have once more responded strongly to the measures and have called for a national day of coordinated strikes on January 19 despite efforts by French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne to emphasize the progressive nature of the reforms.

The primary union that represents the vast majority of Air France’s cabin crew has declared that it will join the wave of strike action and has called the reforms a “attack” on the cabin crew.

Because of the “hardship” that the job entails—including shift work, jet lag, exposure to ultraviolet radiation, and musculoskeletal disorders—cabin crew in France are permitted to retire at the age of 55.

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Cabin crew would still be able to retire at age 55 under the reform proposal, but they might see a deficit in their pension for the first nine years.

On January 19, workers from a wide range of industries are expected to stop working in France in protest of the reform package. Borne has cautioned against raising taxes until the retirement age is increased.

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