Over the past 24 hours, 68 euronews employees based at the channel’s headquarters in Lyon, France, joined a strike against the management’s plans to slash jobs and change working conditions.
That represents around 60 percent of those who were on rota to work in the newsroom during the course of the day. This move follows a no confidence vote last week organised by Euronews journalists and technicians against the current management by 205 to 34 (with 52 abstentions). It shows that there are many members of staff who are unhappy with the direction in which the company is going.
Earlier in the afternoon, elected staff representatives from the company’s works council said they opposed the chief executive’s business plan, which has been dubbed as ‘NEXT’. What comes NEXT is a number of layoffs, including the closure or partial closure of three language services. Employees are facing an uncertain time, especially those in the Ukranian service, which is being shuttered completely.
Some of our fellow colleagues may be forced to return home if they cannot find employment elsewhere. All this is happening at a time when NBC Universal is set to take a stake in our company. A number of misleading press reports have suggested that this mobilisation of euronews employees is an attempt to wreck this deal. Nothing could be further from the truth. If NBC is willing to flex its considerable financial muscle to make Euronews great again, then we will roll out the red carpet for them. All of us are proud to work for this channel and we want to see it suceed; we just need the proper means and resources to do our jobs properly and produce original journalism that we can all be proud of.
We also want this channel to keep its unique European DNA and to avoid seeing journalists sacked for bad decisions that were out of their control. It strikes us as somewhat strange that we have the money to build a new HQ,but can’t the funding to keep these journalists on staff – especially when one of Africa’s most richest men is our majority shareholder.
FO Euronews Trade Union, Press release