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Negotiations continue Swiss News Agency suspends strike action

SDA-ATS logo

The SDA-ATS logo, at the HQ in Bern

(Keystone)

Editorial staff at the Swiss News Agency (SDA-ATS) have suspended industrial action on the fourth day of a strike to protest job cuts and restructuring plans. But the agency warned staff could down tools again unless negotiations yielded positive results.

On January 9, the agency announced that up to 40 jobs out of a total of 180 were at risk due to a pressure to lower prices. SDA-ATS management estimates it will face a CHF3.1 million ($3.15 million) drop in turnover in 2018.

Besides job cuts, employees will also be encouraged to take early retirement or reduce their working hours. Other measures to reduce costs include combining the Swiss and international news branches and getting rid of its in-house financial news section.  

This week’s action followed a three-hour warning strike on January 23.

Swiss Communications Minister Doris Leuthard said in a newspaper interview published Friday that she was concerned by events at the country’s only news wire serviceexternal link.

But she told the Aargauer Zeitung that there was little the government could do as the agency is a private company. Leuthard said that economic reality and a changing media landscape is forcing many small publishers to revamp their revenue structures.

+ More on the history of strikes in Switzerland

SDA-ATS/mga

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