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Newspaper stands empty today

French dailies and major regionals are not on sale in paper versions due to a strike – they are only available online

THE FRENCH daily papers are not on sale today due to a strike by CGT union printers – content is only available online.

The strike is affecting the major nationals and regionals.

Papers have reacted differently to the situation, with Le Figaro, for example, releasing the whole paper free to all online.

At Libération on the other hand there is a €1 offer for a month’s access to the paper via internet (as opposed to €12 usually), though a PDF version is being sent free of charge to subscribers. Readers of La Voix du Nord, would have to pay 79 centimes for a one-day pass.

The strike is in reaction to difficulties being experienced in the sector, which have led to lay-offs at some papers.

According to the CGT more than 2,000 job cuts are expected in newspapers in the next few months. It said in a statement: “The non-publication of the papers on July 5 will express, in the run-up to the Social Summit [planned for Monday and Tuesday next week], our demands to employers who think they are all-powerful and a government that is slow to use public power to resolve the economic crisis.”

However national newspaper union the SPGN said the CGT had “taken [the papers] hostage”, adding: “The blocking attitude of certain people systematically holds back chances of development and success for the press. Instead of defending jobs these heavy-handed tactics make them more fragile.”

It said that, through dialogue, it had made progress, with 26 agreements with national press publishers in essential areas of work rights since 2004.

The Social Summit will bring together members of the government with unions and employers’ representatives to discuss a range of issues surrounding work. Bosses’ organisation Medef has said it will stress the need for competitivity.

© Helder Almeida - Fotolia.com

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