Sunday, July 12, 2009

Radio France International strike suspended for summer

The strike at Radio France Internationale (RFI) was suspended on Friday at a mass meeting of journalists, technical and other staff. Unions leading the action say they will relaunch industrial action in September in their efforts to fight a management plan to axe 206 jobs. if a settlement is not reached before then.
At nine weeks the strike has been the longest in the history of broadcasting in France since the 1968 general strike. Not all unions supported the strike but those that did proposed to a mass meeting on Friday to suspend the action until September.
Representatives of the striking unions, along with management, met officials from the Ministry of Culture on Friday afternoon. They hailed this as “a kind of negotiation” of the sort they say they have been demanding for weeks.
The action has been selective. Key workers have taken action to disrupt broadcasts, with their earnings made up from collections by supporters of the strike who were still working. Strike leaders stressed that they have not accepted management’s plan to axe over 200 jobs and describe the suspension as a “summer truce”. They say that they do not want to “penalise” freelance journalists and workers on short-term contracts, who become more numerous in summer.
A management communiqué welcomed the move, calling the strike a “danger for the radio station”.
(Source: RFI News/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)