Journalists working for Tamedia, the biggest media group in Switzerland, have undertaken a strike action to protest the unfair treatment meted out to them by their Zurich-based owners.
The strike came into effect at a strategic time of 4pm on Tuesday, the exact time Switzerland were taking on Sweden in the Round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup in Russia. After the match, even their journalists covering the tournament in Russia did not send any reports.
More than 100 journalists are taking part in the strike action including about 30 sports journalists. This is the first time in the history of the country that there has been this kind of huge strike from journalists.
Since two years now, Tamedia has been firing journalists incessantly – and with no respect – across all their newspapers in a bid to cut staff strength, and just two weeks ago they announced the closure of one of the country’s biggest newspapers, Le Matin, which turned 125 years this year. Le Matin will now only be available online.
Le Matin going digital meant forty people were laid off with only ten left to do the job. However another fear is, the newspaper may no longer exist even online by the end of the year.
Le Matin is only one of five newspapers owned by Tamedia. Others are, 24 Heures, Tribune de Geneve, Le Matin Dimanche and 20 minutes. But journalists that have dedicated themselves to the running of these newspapers are called on the cell phone just to get sacked.
The journalists on strike have received emails threatening them to return to work or lose their jobs but they are still holding on strong.
Today, only half the normal size of the newspapers were published and this is thanks to freelancers, coupled with stories that had previously not been used.
Credit: AIPS Media