In Paris, striking newspaper, radio and television workers have taken to the streets -- staging demonstrations over workers losing their jobs.
In Paris, striking newspaper, radio and television workers have taken to the streets -- staging demonstrations over workers losing their jobs. The unions have stopped several Paris daily newspapers from printing, and say they won't tolerate the loss of jobs in the name of new technology.
SYNOPSIS: Workers from the French national radio and television have been striking since the eighth of February, when the government announced four hundred and twenty-four job losses this year, with another three hundred workers phased out over the next three years. The government says the lay-offs must be made for economic reasons, despite union claims that the French National radio and television network, ORTF, has made profits of twenty percent over the last three years.
A television union spokesman told a news conference the workers are united and concerned about the conflict between the government and radio and television workers.
The union say they will fight job transfers, lay-offs, the threat of closures, suppression of employees, and any attempt to bring French broadcasting into the private sector. Although the government insists the broadcasting organisation has budget problems, the unions have pledged to create more television and radio jobs.
Newspaper workers gather on Paris streets to protest the threat of widespread lay-offs posed by new technology. News stands are bare, except for occasional union posters, as striking workers stop production on one paper after another.
The newspaper workers are directing their protest against the alleged plans of publisher Robert Hersant to sack hundreds of production workers. The unions say Monsieur Hersant, who already owns Le Figaro and France Soir, has taken control of L'Aurore, and plans to merge two of the papers, with the loss of many jobs. The unions also claim that Monsieur Hersant has broken an agreement signed in April 1978, which guaranteed that no jobs would be lost through new technology.