Euronews employees on strike against fear of dismantling

Fears are piling up among Euronews employees. Concerns around a possible relocation of jobs, potential job cuts, even an end to the multilingual model of the chain. About 150 people – out of the 500 in the company – mobilized on Thursday, February 2, to express their emotion in front of the fluorescent green premises located in the Confluence district, in Lyon. “No to dismantling”, “We just want the means to do our job: to inform”, “United in diversity”could we read on the placards of the demonstrators called to strike by the inter-union made up of the SNJ, the CGT, and the CFE-CGC.

Beyond the uncertainties, real discontent has emerged among employees since the takeover of Euronews by the Portuguese investment fund Alpac Capital in July 2022. “We are faced with budget cuts at all levels, working conditions have deteriorated with chronic understaffing and the non-replacement of employees”denounces Lena Roche, elected CFE-CGC staff and secretary of the CSE. “The investment fund does not want to develop the company contrary to what it initially claimed”says a journalist from the editorial staff wishing to remain anonymous. “He wants to cut expenses, resell us for a profit and the human being is the last thing they care about”he judges.

13 million euros deficit

Launched in 1993 by some twenty European channels, with the aim of responding to the American CNN, Euronews has already been shaken by two social plans since 2017. The channel which continuously broadcasts information in 15 languages ​​with an editorial staff of 400 journalists is now exhausted. She accumulated “160 million [d’euros] losses in ten years”, according to Guillaume Dubois, the managing director appointed in July. The former managing director of BFM-TV and CEO of the L’Express group explains that the channel’s deficit would approach 13 million euros in its operating result for 2022, like the previous year. To save money, the “cube” of Euronews and its 10,000 square meters of surface area have been put up for sale, the shareholder is now looking for new premises in the metropolis of Lyon.

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The announcement of the strategic plan, postponed several times, ended up annoying internally. “I understand the impatience of the employees, but it will be done the week of February 27. We want to present an ambitious, complete and well-argued plan.”, assures Guillaume Dubois. In the meantime, three union delegates met Pedro Vargas David, chairman of the board of directors of Alpac. Passing through Lyon on January 19, he obviously failed to reassure. He would have affirmed his desire for offices to be opened in European capitals. “We don’t know if our editorial staff will be split up in the different capitals or if it will be a complement”explains Marie Jamet, elected SNJ staff member. “There are plenty of questions and no answers for the moment, we are so vague that it is “carpet radio” which catches fire”deplores Lena Roche of the CFE-CGC.

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