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Massive strike in France and cancelled performances

Since last Thursday, a massive social movement began all around France to demand withdrawal of the government’s latest pension reform. While the details of the plan has not yet been unveiled, Macron’s proposal for a single pension system, which would eliminate dozens of separate plans for public sector workers, would force millions of people in both the public and private sectors to work well beyond the official retirement age of 62, including the dancers of the Opera!!!

As you can imagine, the dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet do not hesitate to voice their displeasure over the cancellation of their special retirement scheme, which is, interestingly, the oldest retirement scheme in France, dating from the time of the French King Louis XIV, allowing all the dancers to get retired and receive a pension at the the early age of 42.

No photo description available.
a poster created by the dancers, a caricature of dancers dancing until their 60s.

Under the new unique retirement scheme, all the dancers will not receive any pension at 42, and will have to find another job/income from 42 to around 65, before getting retired and receiving the pension. This could be a real challenge for most of the dancers, as we all started committing time and effort to ballet since we were very young, and it is especially complicated to expose ourselves to the ordinary job market at the end of our dancing career.

Consequently, all the performances are cancelled since 5th December, the dancers are going on strike! We have no idea when we will start performing again, so I keep on doing ballet class everyday and the rehearsals continue. But, the public transport system is completely paralysed due to this national strike, except for a few bus lines and automatic metro lines. Now, going to Bastille could take me more than 2 hours instead of 40 minutes from home.

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