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YOT protests management inflexibility over lunch breaks

Programme workers at the public broadcaster, Yle, have expressed disappointment at management’s inflexibility on stopping employee lunch breaks taken in company time.

The issue has been under negotiation between management and the Yle Programme Workers (YOT) association. Yle management have dug in their heels and spurned compromise on the matter.

The measure affects current events employees, including those in news programming in Swedish, who will have to take their lunch breaks in their own time.

The Yle Programme Workers (YOT) association said that Yle has gone against decades of good company practice in making the move.

YOT said move will make news work inflexible, slow down responsiveness, and undermine the on-duty staffing. It said that the new rule threatens the stipulation from Yle management for rapid response in providing news coverage.

YOT said that the move will affect hundreds of Yle employees. It calls on Yle to review the change and alter it to allow for breaks in company time in those jobs that require them. It said that the collective bargaining agreement between union and management clearly provides for this.

The change in practice by Yle management is seen as part of a general effort by media employers to roll back long-standing work practices that benefit employees in order to increase working hours.