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Reporters at Danish public broadcaster stage strike to protest against jobcuts
[September 12, 2007]

Reporters at Danish public broadcaster stage strike to protest against jobcuts

(Associated Press WorldStream Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) COPENHAGEN, Denmark_Thousands of reporters and news productions staff at Denmark's public broadcaster, DR, walked off their jobs Wednesday in a one-day strike to protest a savings package that will result in 481 layoffs, union officials said.

Radio and TV journalists at the Danish Broadcasting Corp. walked out at 11:00 (0900 GMT), after management announced its full cost-saving plan, said Steen Larsen, a DR representative for the Danish Union of Journalists.

"We're worried about the quality of our programs and the journalism we'll be able to provide," Larsen said. "We're wondering how much time journalism has left."

Larsen said about 1,000 reporters and about 1,000 news production workers had joined in the strike action. Workers are expected to return to work on Thursday, he said.

DR has cited higher-than-expected costs related to building its new headquarters, saying it needs to cut costs by around 300 million kroner (40.3 million; US$55.7 million) a year starting in 2008.

Most of the job cuts will be made by leaving vacancies empty and by letting time restricted contracts expire, DR officials say. But 50 layoffs were announced Wednesday, Larsen said.

The company's General Director Kenneth Plummer said in a statement that "2007 has been an extraordinarily tough year for DR. The savings plan has left significant marks in the organization, and it has been horrible to say goodbye to good, competent and dedicated colleagues, and to see that their areas of work disappear."

DR said a series of programs would be reshuffled, shortened or canceled on both Wednesday and Thursday due to the strike.

Created in 1925, DR is an independent company financed by viewers' license fees.


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