Radio France faces crisis asnews strike hits deadlock

12th February 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 12 (AFP) - The longest strike to hit a pubicly-owned radio station in France for 25 years continued, with management and strikers deadlocked over a journalists' demand for a pay rise of at least 15 percent.

PARIS, Feb 12 (AFP) - The longest strike to hit a pubicly-owned radio station in France for 25 years continued, with management and strikers deadlocked over a journalists' demand for a pay rise of at least 15 percent.

"It is time to put an end to this strike," said Jean-Marie Cavada, chairman and chief executive of Radio France, adding that the stoppage had already cost an estimated EUR 500,000 (USD 615,000) and was "causing huge damage".

But Cavada insisted that the station's budget had been approved by parliament and could not be enlarged to meet the journalists' demand for parity with their colleagues in the better-paid state television sector.

Radio France includes France Inter, one of the most popular stations in the country, the permanent news channel France Info, niche broadcasters such as France Musique and France Culture, and dozens of regional and local stations.

Opposition Socialist party leader Francois Hollande accused the government of allowing the strike to continue so as to justify a future privatisation of the channel.

"It is pluralism which bothers the right and it is no accident that the government is letting the dispute rot during an election campaign," Hollande said. Regional elections are due in France next month.

© AFP

                                                              Subject: France news

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