A number of female Air France cabin crew are resisting an airline ruling that they should wear a headscarf while in Tehran when flights to the Iranian capital resume on April 17, according to their union representatives.
"Every day we have calls from worried female cabin crew who tell us that they do not want to wear the headscarf," said Christophe Pillet of the SNPNC (Syndicat National du Personnel Navigant Commercial) union, which is asking Air France management to make it a voluntary measure.
Company chiefs had sent staff a memo informing that female staff would be required "to wear trousers during the flight with a loose fitting jacket and a scarf covering their hair on leaving he plane", Mr. Pillet told AFP on Saturday.
According to Mr. Pillet, Air France management has raised the possibility of "penalties" against anyone not observing the dress code.
SNPNC also denounced the provisions in a statement, calling them "an attack on freedom of conscience and individual freedoms, and invasion of privacy."
Air France told AFP that all air crew were "obliged like other foreign visitors to respect the laws of the countries to which they travelled."
"Iranian law requires that a veil covering the hair be worn in public places by all women on its territory."
The headscarf requirement and clothing limitations are "true threats to their dignity," the Union des Navigants de l'Aviation Civile (UNAC) wrote in a letter to Laurence Rossignol, France's minister for women’s rights and families, on Friday.
Under the Iranian regime's fundamentalist laws, all women in Iran have been forced to cover their hair since the 1979 revolution.