Pilots and flight attendants from across France are being urged to take part in a mass demonstration in Paris on 16th September to protest against pension reform plans. The largest French pilots union, as well as six different flight attendant unions that represent crew at airlines across France – including at Air France – are supporting the protest alongside lawyers, doctors and nurses.
As we reported back in May, the French government is trying to push through some big changes to the entire state pension scheme. At present, flight attendants are able to retire at 55-years old, which is seven years earlier than the current State pension age – in part, because of the unique aspects of the cabin crew role which classes it as an arduous career.
But under the government’s current proposals, the retirement age would not only be raised but the contributions workers pay into the pension would also face a significant hike. If that wasn’t enough, even with the increased employee contributions, the amount paid out would actually be lower than at present.
In a joint press release, the unions said that details of the march and protest are yet to be agreed but that they were “determined” to defend the current pension and stop the proposed changes coming into effect.
The protests are unlikely to affect flights, although several months ago one prominent trade union at Air France threatened strike action if the airline didn’t publicly lobby for the continuation of the current pension scheme.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.