News / 22.04.2015

MTV and STT-Lehtikuva to slash jobs – UJF backs labour market social contract

MTV to outsource news production, STT-Lehtikuva losing clients. UJF says situation cannot continue.

MTV, the commercial television channel, is to begin employer-employee negotiations next week expected to end in a reduction of between 55 and 75 person years.

The MTV subsidiary responsible for news and content is to outsource its news production to Mediahub, a new corporation.

This, in turn, will start negotiations aimed at cutting from 40 to 50 person years, amounting to a total reduction of up to 125 person years from MTV’s workforce, estimated at 389.

In another development, the Finnish news and picture agency STT-Lehtikuva will also begin employer-employee negotiations concerning the company’s entire staff, with the exception of its communications service.

Some 28 jobs are in danger of being cut due to falling net sales from a shrinking client base. For example, Helsingin-Sanomat, Finland’s biggest national daily, will cease buying news from STT-Lehtikuva at the end of this year.

“This cannot continue.”

In response to news of the impending staff cutbacks at MTV, the UJF said that the continual layoffs cannot continue and that the operating environment of the domestic media in Finland must be improved.

“MTV has had employer-employee negotiations practically every year, which have led to staff reductions, redundancies and layoffs,” said a UJF statement issued by the union’s chair Hanne Aho and head of advocacy Petri Savolainen. “This cannot continue.”

The UJF says that ways to alleviate the financial pressure on the domestic media could include reducing VAT on digital content and avoiding legislation that restricts media activity, in particular concerning advertising restrictions.

The UJF stresses that subcontracting usually leads to changes in collective agreements but that unilateral alterations to such agreements does not provide a sustainable basis for fair negotiations or confidence-building in the workplace.

“The journalistic sector is accustomed to negotiating and operating in a peaceful labour market setting,” Hanne Aho pointed out, referring to the social contract in labour relations advocated by Finland’s incoming Prime Minister, Juha Sipilä.

A social contract would, the UJF concurs, offer the scope for returning an atmosphere of trust to the labour market, allowing all sides to have a genuine ability to influence working conditions and providing the direction for improving employment legislation.

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