Friday, November 16, 2007

Call me judgemental

But these strikers are ridiculous.

For those of you not living in France, some history.

The government is trying to change parts of the retirement system. The requirements needed to get full retirement benefits and the age at which that is possible are not the same for everyone. I know, I know, that's already asking for trouble. Anyway, the private sector has one set of rules and civil servants have another and even within the governmental worker sector there are régimes spéciaux. So, for example, a person who works for the SNCF, the national railway company, often qualifies for retirement at 50 years old.

Meaning that someone who doesn't will work at least 10 years more before qualifying for retirement.

Given the problems that go along with an absurd system like that, it's no surprise that it can't last. It's expensive and inherently unfair.

But don't tell the strikers that.

Because I ACTUALLY HEARD ONE OF THEM SAY ON THE RADIO, "It's normal for us to be able to retire 10 years earlier than a cadre (manager or business executive). On average, they live 9 years longer than ouvriers (blue collar workers). And so, it's a way to allow us to enjoy the same amount of retirement as them."

Seriously? Next thing you know, they'll be saying men should be able to retire 8 years before women since women live, on average, 8 years longer than men. Hey guys, don't even think about it.

The scariest part? The man saying it was clearly convinced of the 'logic' of his thinking.


beth said...

I got a laugh at his justification of why the 10 year gap exists. So, what should the retirement age be for stay at home moms??

Laura said...

hey Nicole, i am in laval and have your magazine (plus thursday's new york times if you are interested). when/where would you like to meet up? i leave wed at noon and am staying at the foyer right next to the prefecture. am free all the time (forgot how quickly one can see all of laval) except for tues at 13h30, so let me know! you can email me at laura underscore azze at yahoo dot com.

A Seattleite in Paris said...

I hadn't heard that reason before. It's crazy that anyone would actually think that way, but it's so absurd it made me chuckle. These strikes are beyond annoying. I can't say that I have any sympathy for the privileged few who can retire early causing so much hassle for the rest of us

Lex Lata said...


There are places where people still retire? That's adorable!