A day without SDA news: Employees strike over staff cuts

At a general meeting, the SDA staff decides to call a strike for today, Tuesday. The aim is not to accept the job cuts and to persuade the management and the board of directors to negotiate. In the meantime, the SDA creates an emergency access to news for media representatives.


The dismissals took place despite a warning strike and massive resistance from the editorial staff. In a response to the editorial board's resolution of January 25, 2018, the SDA management makes it clear that it will refrain from making any concessions on the central points. This despite the massive resistance of the employees. The management justifies its actions solely on the basis of costs, according to a joint press release from the journalists' association Impressum and the media union Syndikom. Strategically, however, the SDA remains "headless".

As a reminder: On the nationwide warning strike of January 23, 2018, the entire workforce stopped work for three hours, expressing their unequivocal stance against management's actions. The management did agree to minor improvements to the social plan, which Syndikom said was "still inadequate". In addition, the management promised psychological support following the insistence of the editorial commission (ReKo) and the collapse of several employees.

SDA management and board of directors under pressure

In an interview with the NZZ on Sunday CEO Markus Schwab said that SDA only owed a debt to its shareholders (Advertising week reported). "After the dismissals and the refusal to negotiate at eye level, the management has gambled away the last trust of the employees with such statements in the press," find Syndicom and Imprint. "These statements openly show that SDA no longer feels committed to the employees."

Employees continue to emphasize their willingness to engage in open, transparent discussions about future strategy and resulting staffing needs.

Nevertheless, the employees continue to call on management to negotiate. At the same time, they are turning to the Board of Directors to show them a way out of the conflict. This is because the Board of Directors bears the strategic responsibility for the path taken by the management. "The employees continue to emphasize their willingness to engage in open, transparent discussions about the future strategy and the resulting personnel requirements," the press release continues. "They are still being deprived of the necessary information."

The planned cutbacks would jeopardize Switzerland's basic media services. Small and medium-sized media companies, which have only limited resources, are particularly dependent on the services of the SDA. Furthermore, the massive cutbacks would jeopardize the federal government's contributions of two million francs. Syndicom and Imprint therefore raise the rhetorical question of how sustainable the management's chosen path can be if it is thus "ruining its previously good service, poisoning the working atmosphere and endangering millions in income.

In a press release, SDA apologizes for the outage of its reports and writes: "To ensure that you can still access the sda reports as well as partner agencies dpa, AFP Deutsch, Reuters and APA during the interruption, we are providing you with a Emergency access via the sda-Direct platform". At the moment, no information can be given about the duration of the outage. (ank)

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