France: strike action continues at the Paris Opera

Workers at the Paris Opera have been striking since October 18th in defence of their pension regimes.

Submitted by jef costello on December 3, 2007

The strike has caused the cancellation of 17 performances and 8 have gone ahead in a reduced form. The strike is strongest amongst workers from the Sud union, and to a lesser extent FSU. These workers are in the majority amongst lighting and stage hands and as such have a strong position. The FO, CGT and CFDT unions have already agreed to negotiations with management.

The workers are fighting to defend the pension conditions that they were hired under, or that they have fought for, the so-called 'special regimes' allow, in this case, workers to retire earlier, for example ballet dancers have the right to retire at 40, musicians at 60. According to the director of the Opera the strikes have so far cost €3.1M.

The President that calls them greedy gave himself a 175% pay rise, the economists that say their pensions are too expensive are those who allowed employers to end payments into social security funds.