The strike at BFM and RMC very followed, the debate for the municipal ones postponed to Thursday

Employees are protesting against the management plan which targets nearly a third of 1,600 employees. They fear forced departures.

A watchword: “treason!”. For the employees of BFMTV, RMC or RMC Découverte (Media), this Wednesday is a day of mobilization against a plan of their management which plans to remove “330 to 380 permanent contracts and up to 200 freelancers and intermittents”, or about a third of the workforce, out of a total of 1,600 employees, according to the inter-union (CFDT-CFTC-CGT-SNJ-UNSA). Approved on Tuesday, the call for a 24-hour strike on Wednesday was widely followed.

The immediate issue was the broadcast of the debate for the second round of municipal elections in Paris, initially scheduled for Wednesday at 8:45 p.m. on BFMTV and BFM Paris between Agnès Buzyn (LREM), Rachida Dati (LR) and (PS). A threat was already hanging over his organization, technicians and journalists seeming to be very mobilized. “It will take place in our premises. There is no will in the editorial staff to sabotage it, and there is no will on the part of the management to circumvent the strike ”, had assured yesterday, director of BFMTV. But this Wednesday at the beginning of the afternoon, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, announced that she was giving up the debate, given the circumstances, and asked for its postponement. Agnès Buzyn followed suit. The debate was finally rescheduled Thursday evening, the channel said.

“Inescapable transformation”

The movement started today at dawn, at 4:26 am exactly during the handover between the night shift and the pre-morning shift. Jean-Jacques Bourdin’s flagship time slot on RMC, also broadcast on RMC Découverte, has been largely cut, the host going so far as to have his picture taken by colleagues, explaining that he was joining the movement. “Out of solidarity”. The other branches of the audiovisual subsidiary of Altice (SFR) were also disrupted all morning.

The strikers, including around 200 gathered this morning in front of the Altice Media headquarters in Paris, are worried about the scale of the job-cutting plan and its terms. They fear in particular forced departures. Highly exposed due to the cessation of sports competitions, the sports news channel RMC Sport News is at the forefront. In a statement released on Monday, the journalists’ societies (SDJ) of BFMTV, RMC Info, BFM Paris, RMC Sport and the editorial staff of BFM Business, had already expressed their “Serious concerns” for the “Maintaining the requirement and the editorial quality” antennas.

For their part, the leaders of NextradioTV defend “The need for this inevitable transformation”, faced with the fall of the advertising market and competition from platforms. They say they understand “(The) worry, (the) doubts, and sometimes (the) anger” employees while calling for “the responsibility”. The management would have proposed “To open discussions, but subject to the end of the strike”.

Wednesday evening, the mobilized employees suspended their strike to resume negotiations Thursday morning with management, before a new general meeting scheduled for the afternoon, according to union representatives.