Media group plans redundancies
Portugal’s Global Media Group has announced a programme of redundancies by amicable agreement for journalists and others working for its newspapers and radios.
However, the Portuguese journalists’ union (Sindicato dos Jornalistas (SJ)) called the announcement on Friday a “veiled threat to sack journalists at their companies”.
In a communiqué, the SJ states that this is a “communiqué that shows a serious and regrettable divestment in various companies in the group” which owns titles such as TSF, Jornal de Notícias and the sports newspaper O Jogo.
“The launch of a programme for friendly redundancies by mutual agreement (…) is no more than a veiled threat of dismissal which the SJ considers unacceptable and unjustifiable”, states the communiqué.
A round-robin e-mail sent out to group employees argued that the recent economic climate, made worse by the war, had made the situation at lot worse. This had made a new company reorganisation imperative” which in turn calls for a reduction in operational costs.
The programme is aimed at staff working for Global Notícias, Rádio NotÍcias, Notícias Direct, Naveprinter, Açormedia and RCA.
The SJ says that according to the document, in the case of employees not signing up voluntarily to amicable redundancies, they may be included in a less favourable redundancy package in the future as a result of any restructuring programme.
The union SJ says that the company is stating “either leave now with a bonus of 10% on the legal minimum in the case of collective dismissal, or leave under less attractive conditions at a later date.”
The Global Media Group owned by serial entrepreneur Marco Galinha had completed a restructuring of the company that led to the collective redundancy of 81 staff including 17 journalists.
The SJ believes that by opting to get rid of staff year-after-year (as if journalism can be done without journalists) the group’s media titles are being “condemned to a slow and painful debt in public view”.