French-speaking Switzerland protests against Tamedia

Ahead of Friday's Tamedia AGM, journalists from French-speaking Switzerland demonstrated in Lausanne against a savings program of 34 million francs. A delegation boarded the train to Zurich to protest at the AGM.

At Lausanne train station, around 140 journalists from Lausanne and Geneva demonstrated against the austerity plans. Posters carried headlines such as "Tamedia tue vos médias" (Tamedia kills your media) or "Structural contribution, 1,2,3, enough is enough." "They have destroyed trust and they have destroyed passion, which is the engine of the press. Without passion, there are no dividends," said Ludovic Rocchi of Le Matin newspaper. The delegation to Zurich was seen off on the platform to applause. The impressum trade union expects a large number of journalists and print shop employees in front of the Kongresshaus.

Dividend halved instead of layoffs

The rally participants will meet shareholders in Zurich and call on them to forego half of the dividend of 4.50 francs in exchange for layoffs. Tamedia had announced a savings program of 34 million francs for the next three years at the end of March. In French-speaking Switzerland, just under 18 million francs will have to be saved. The titles affected include Le Matin, 24 heures and Tribune de Genève. In French-speaking Switzerland, the savings program had led to fierce protests, also because Tamedia had achieved a profit of CHF 152 million in 2012.

The media company publishes numerous newspapers in German-speaking Switzerland, including the Tages-Anzeiger and Bund. Although the remaining 16 million Swiss francs of the savings package affect German-speaking Switzerland, protests there have so far been largely absent.In French-speaking Switzerland, there have already been two meetings with the Geneva and Vaud governments. Tamedia reaffirmed that it does not want to close or merge any newspapers in French-speaking Switzerland. (SDA)

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