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Journalists: Vote Samir Douaihy - Spread the Word!

Wednesday 11 June 2014

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Joint Statement by the CGT, Force Ouvrière and SUD Trade Unions at AFP

The election to choose the staff representative for journalists on the AFP board started on Tuesday June 10 and runs until June 20. The CGT, FO and SUD unions call on all AFP journalists around the world to take part in the election, and to vote for Samir Douaihy.

This is important because the basic principles upon which AFP was founded are currently under threat from the European Commission, the French government, the MP Michel Françaix (the author of a recent report on the agency’s finances) and the CEO’s “strategic plan”.

All of these groups are pushing for the agency to develop activities outside the scope of its general interest mission, laid down in articles 1 and 2 of the 1957 statutes, and confirmed by a law that amended article 13 in 2012. Those pushing for these changes would like more and more of AFP’s activities to resemble those of the German subsidiary, which is viewed as being outside the scope of AFP’s statutes. Specifically, M. Françaix’s report calls for the creation of a subsidiary to organise the agency’s technical services, while management is proposing to create a “cut-price” journalistic subsidiary of the AFP Services operation.

To counter these threats, Samir Douaihy is ideally suited to sit on the AFP board. He has worked for years and with great tenacity to defend the identity and values of the agency. By voting for Samir Douaihy and ensuring that he gets elected, AFP journalists will be ensuring that you get an effective voice on the AFP board. A voice that will promote, loud and clear, the demands that staff will certainly need to make once again in the coming months.

In a related development, a staff general assembly held on Tuesday in the general desk area of the Paris headquarters on Tuesday attracted around a hundred participants - not bad given that it took place the day after a public holiday. But this is only a start. To press our campaign against these new developments we have asked for appointments at the French prime minister’s office, at the Culture Ministry and with deputies and senators. Our CGT, FO and SUD unions will produce key documents and will keep staff informed to encourage both debate and mobilisation.

Starting right now, journalists can help push the process forward, by voting for Samir Douaihy!

CGT, FO and SUD trade unions at AFP
Paris, June 11, 2014

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