Strike suspended by Tamedia staff

Staff from Tamedia-owned newspapers marching in Lausanne on Wednesday. Keystone

A strike by workers from media company Tamedia was suspended on Thursday following a successful offer of mediation by canton Vaud authorities.

SDA-ATS/dos

The strike had begun on Tuesday afternoon, led by staff unhappy about the recently-announced winding down of the print version of Switzerland’s largest French-language daily, tabloid Le Matin, published by Tamedia.

Journalists from the paper, as well as other Tamedia-owned publications la Tribune de Genève, 24 Heures, and Le Matin Dimanche, demanded that the closure be overturned and that the associated job cuts (36, of which 22 editorial staff) be reversed.

Following several days of threats from management towards the strikers, the deadlock was finally broken by an offer of mediation from the canton Vaud authorities; Le Matin is based in Lausanne, the regional capital.

While the talks – which begin next Monday – are in progress, the conditions are that neither firings nor further strike action will take place, the canton said.

Union spokespeople welcomed the outcome. The newspapers operated by Tamedia – one of Switzerland’s big two editorial houses, along with Ringier – will reappear in a slimmed-down version on Friday morning.

The action is the latest in a long course of shake-ups to the media landscape in Switzerland, where the effects of digitalisation and competition from free dailies (where Tamedia also has interests) have dented the traditional reach of paying print media.

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