Reuters journalists in France strike over planned cuts
Thursday 7 March 2019
Reuters journalists in France began a 24-hour strike after rejecting a company plan to cut 25 jobs in the Paris bureau - more than half of its French-language workforce.
“We are dismayed by the reasons put forward by the company to justify the staff cuts and are struggling to see how fewer reporters on the ground will translate into a sharper and more exclusive file, as management suggests,” they said.
“We do not see how the termination of these jobs, some of which could be offshored to Poland, would make our coverage more relevant or add more value to our customers.”
Last week’s announcement is part of a larger cost-cutting programme within Reuters News and comes after other layoffs in Germany and Italy, where local language services have also been targeted.
“No significant investment was announced alongside this downsizing, in spite of the healthy results of our parent company, Thomson Reuters, and the $17 billion in gross proceeds it earned by selling 55 per cent of its financial & risk business to Blackstone,” union representatives said.
“Reuters' decision to cut jobs in its European offices, in a bid to increase its margins, is all the more incomprehensible given that other international news organisations such as the Washington Post have recently announced they would be hiring more international correspondents.
“We find this move disproportionate and strategically unconvincing. That is the reason why we called a 24-hour strike, the first one in 15 years, starting Wednesday at midnight.
“The news flow out of France - in both French and English - will therefore be interrupted.” ■