RFI staff carry on strike over merger of French public media

Employees across France’s public broadcasting sector, including RFI, continued their strike for a second day Friday in protest over a proposed merger of state-financed media companies.

More programmes and magazines were shelved on Friday after workers at France Médias Monde, France Télévisions and Radio France downed tools a day earlier – forcing the cancellation of broadcasts.

Rallies were held near the National Assembly and the Ministry of Culture in Paris.

A debate in parliament devoted to thrashing out details of the bill, which Culture Minister Rachida Dati says will strengthen the public media industry, was pontponed to June.

In a message on social media, Dati sought to reassure employees.

"I want to guarantee you not only sustainability but (also) your strength in a world of exacerbated competition between platforms and social networks," she wrote.

"Obviously, we are not going to standardise either professions or activities," she insisted on Wednesday in the Senate during questions to the government.

Dati's predecessor, Franck Riester, tried to push through a revamp of public media companies but it was scrapped due to the Covid pandemic.

The first step of the reorganisation would be a transitional phase, with a common holding company for public broadcasting as of 1 January, 2025. A merger would follow a year later.

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