France Televisions to lose 10% of staff

At least 900 employees might depart voluntarily

PARIS -- Heads are about to roll at French public TV group France Televisions, and unions here are predictably up in arms.

Group president Patrick de Carolis is preparing for the "voluntary departure" of more than 10% of his employees, according to a statement released Wednesday by the country's socialist party.

At least "900 employees" may elect to "voluntarily depart" from their positions with full retirement benefits between now and 2012 because of "serious economic constraints," the statement said.

The move is a result of president Nicolas Sarkozy's decision to ban advertising on France's public networks.

National journalists syndicate the SNJ and national workers unions the CGT and the CFDT on Thursday spoke out strongly against the move.

"We're very angry to have to learn this from a socialist party statement. Carolis talks to the outside, but doesn't talk to his own employees," SNJ representative Carole Petit said.

While the social party claims the number of employees electing "voluntary departure" will total 900 over the next four years, workers union the CGT's spokesman Jean-Francois Tealdi claims the government plans to get rid of 1,000 additional jobs.

The France Televisions group boasts 11,000 full-time employees. The country's audiovisual joint union committee is planning a 24-hour strike Nov. 25 to protest the government's new ad-free public TV law.

France Televisions offered no immediate response.
comments powered by Disqus