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UNI Global Union’s Media, Entertainment & Arts section, representing 500,000 workers in the industry worldwide, stands with French trade unions they prepare to strike over government plans to merge all public audiovisual companies in the country.

Thousands of workers, who are members of UNI affiliates CGT, FO and CFDT, are set to walk off the job on 23 and 24 May at France’s public broadcasting organizations, the Institut national de l’audiovisuel, France Médias Monde, France Télévisions and Radio France, which together employ around 16,000 people.

The joint strike will take place as the French parliament debates reforms that would establish a holding company in early 2025, so that all public media can be merged into one enterprise on 1 January 2026.

Over the past few years, successive governments in France have weakened the public broadcasting sector, and in 2022 French unions protested government plans to abolish the licence fee, which was eventually scrapped without any plans for alternative means of funding.

Johannes Studinger, Head of UNI Media, Entertainment & Arts, said:

“Yet again, workers face uncertainty and job losses after several rounds of restructuring and budget cuts, while these new plans threaten to further undermine the financial and editorial independence of public broadcasting in France. We stand with our affiliates in France as they fight to preserve public media. Sustaining strong independent public broadcasting is crucial to ensuring that all voices have a platform in a media landscape where the high concentration of private ownership can undermine diversity.”  

With the creation of a new holding company, existing collective agreements may need to be renegotiated and unions fear that the planned deadlines are too rushed for such important changes.

A solidarity statement issued by UNI Media, Entertainment & Arts, issued on the eve of the strikes said:

“Weakening public broadcasting means weakening the commitment to a pluralistic, diverse, inclusive and outward-looking media ecosystem. In a world dominated by powerful multinationals that reduce public space and favour the development of the mainstream, and sometimes even of fake news and/or extreme discourse, public broadcasting is an actor that guarantees a space accessible to all citizens for the expression of voices, stories and themes that reflect the diversity of our societies…

“We support the demands from the French trade unions and call on decision makers:

  • To withdraw all holding and/or merger plans concerning public broadcasting companies.
  • To ensure sustainable and dynamic funding for the public broadcasting service, guaranteeing both its independence and the resources needed to carry out its many missions.
  • To ensure the continuation of conventional cover for employees as a minimum basis for any developments.



Media, Entertainment & Arts


UNI Europa