Nationwide strikes and actions of 3.000 employees in German public service broadcasting

Thursday 19 September 2019

The global community of broadcasting unions affiliated to UNI Global Union stands in solidarity with colleagues on strike at German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF.

Around 3,000 employees of the German public broadcasters are participating in strikes and actions nationwide today (18 September 2019). They follow a call from the UNI Affiliate ver.di representing workers in the services sector. The action is a response to the stalemate of the stalled collective bargaining in the national broadcasters. Many of the regional broadcasters belonging to the national broadcaster ARD, such as  WDR, SWR, MDR, SR, BR and NDR programs went black today.

Today’s strikes, demonstrations and actions are so far unique in the history of public service broadcasting in the Federal Republic of Germany. The employees of ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio thus set a strong common signal for the ongoing collective bargaining: They do not want to be disconnected from wage developments in the civil service,” said deputy ver.di chairman Frank Werneke.

Public service broadcasting stands for an independence, which needs credible journalistic reporting. This is indispensable especially in times of hate and hate in the net and the purposeful spreading of false information and ‘alternative facts’ “,  Werneke stressed.

Ver.di demands a clear commitment to public service broadcasting and its special role in democracy that is more important than ever. The union fears that if conditions are further weakened, it will undermine the capacity of broadcasters to fulfil their public service mission.

UNI MEI supports ver.di and colleagues on strike at ARD and ZDF. We share the concerns of colleagues that too many leaders in the public service institutions as well as in state governments and parliaments bowed to populist pressure, instead of standing up for and defending the independence of public service broadcasters. We join ver.di in demanding that the financial sustainability of public service broadcasting in Germany is secured and dignified working conditions and remuneration are negotiated in the framework of the current collective bargaining negotiations.

For more information go to: www.rundfunk.verdi.de

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