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NUJ members in Paris join French general strike

28 January 2009

Members of the NUJ's Paris branch are taking part in a general strike in France tomorrow. The action has been called to protest against job cuts, pay freezes, and cutbacks in social security.

France's six journalists unions are supporting the action. There have been redundancies in French public and privately owned media companies – and an increase in the number of journalists with casual or short term contracts.

At least 900 jobs are threatened in the state-run France Télévisions group; 170 at Radio France Internationale; 50 in the Express-Roularta magazine group; similar numbers at both the M6 private TV company and the Nice Matin daily and 30 at Prisma Presse.

At least 20 per cent of all French journalists are now employed on short-term or freelance contracts or other non-permanent arrangements. In 2008, four of every ten new French press cards issued were to people who did not have stable employment.

Pay freezes have been announced by the employers' asociations of the French national daily press and of news magazines. The French government is dismantling the public television service, which is being deprived of sustainable sources of revenue and seeing its top management appointed directly by the President.

There are also moves afoot to change the statutes of Agence France-Presse – where the NUJ has a chapel.

The NUJ Paris branch is made up of English language journalists living in France.

Jim Pollard, branch chair, said:

"We think it is very important that as Anglophone journalists we back up our French colleagues in their fight against cuts.
"We have the same problems of globalisation and economic crisis as our colleagues in Britain and Ireland."

Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said:

"We are proud to have an NUJ banner taking part in this show of strength by workers in France.
"I send our union's solidarity to our brothers and sisters in France. We must all stick together to fight against greedy shareholders and governments set on privatising public service media."

Tags: , strike, france, cuts, france télévisions, radio france internationale, express-roularta, m6 tv, nice matin, prisma presse, pay freeze, pay, afp, newspapers, magazines, broadcasting, paris, paris branch, solidarity, public service broadcasting