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IFJ backs action by Spanish unions against jobs cuts in PRISA Media Group

People take part in a demonstration against job cuts at Spanish media conglomerate Prisa in Madrid March 19, 2011. Hundreds of Prisa workers gathered in central Madrid to protest the company's decision to cut some 2500 jobs. The sign reads: "El Pais against Prisa's lay-offs".

The Executive Committee of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), meeting in Brussels from March 19 - 20 and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have given their full backing for the workers and employees of the PRISA Group which publishes El País newspaper which has recently announced plans to reduce its staff in Spain and Latin America with the estimated loss of 2.500 jobs.

"Plans to reduce jobs in the PRISA Media Group take their roots in a doubtful management more obsessed with stocks markets gains rather than with true journalism," said Elisabeth Costa, the new IFJ General Secretary who takes up her position on April 5, 2011. "We support our Spanish affiliates because we share their view that media staff should not pay for the financial mistakes of media managers, who used to be big stars of journalism years ago".

Around 5.000 people gathered on March 19 in central Madrid to demonstrate against the cuts which PRISA claims are justified by the media group's financial crisis. But the staff say the financial situation varies between different situations within the Spanish media group.

The union representatives of PRISA workers blame the management of Juan Luis Cebrián, former managing director of El País for the current financial difficulties because of his reckless plans, including sales of shares to American investors from Liberty Acquisitions Holdings Corporation (from the USA) and the surprising sale of former PRISA TV channels Cuatro and CNN+ to the main Spanish private television, of which Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is the main shareholder.

IFJ Spanish affiliates FeSP and CCOO were among the organisers of the demonstrations against the threats of redundancies and promised to fight any plan of massive lay- offs.

Last week two unions, the UGT and CCOO, received on March 14 from the management the draft plan for lay-offs and redundancies. The Spanish IFJ affiliated CCOO, which represent the majority of workers in PRISA, has declared the plan biased and full of highly manipulated details designed to justify the cuts. The unions are ready to debate the financial situation of some PRISA media, but they do not accept the management's proposal which makes job cuts the main priority.

Date posted: March 21, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 59