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Radio France Strike Is Longest in Its History

Walkout began on March 19 over proposed budget and job cuts

A strike by journalists and media workers over the potential of budget cuts and the downsizing of 200 to 300 jobs has disrupted the operation of Radio France stations (including national news networks, France Inter and France Info) since March 19.

According to a statement on France Info’s website, the strike is in protest against the outsourcing of jobs, reforms to production and cleaning services and Radio France’s decision to eliminate one of its two orchestras as a cost-saving measure.

Radio France is 90 percent state funded through license fees and was forced to adopt a projected budget deficit of €21.3 million in January, reports France 24. Just prior to the strike an article came out in Le Canard Enchainé that revealed Radio France’s new CEO Mathieu Gallet spent 100,000 euros renovating his office. Gallet apologized and said the renovation plan was in place prior to his arrival with Radio France in 2013.

“The Strike must end,” said Prime Minister Manuel Valls. “Talks between unions and management need to restart on the right foot.”

Talks between management and thee unions were held on Monday, but no resolution was met. On Thursday April 2, Radio France employees held a strike meeting at the broadcaster’s Radio France headquarters.

Le Figaro announced today that the strike would continue until at least Tuesday April 7, making it the longest in the broadcaster’s history.