Strike Keeps Le Monde Off Newsstands

French paper's staff, management square off over job cuts, debt
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2008 6:19 AM CDT
French daily Le Monde employees gather front of the building during a rare strike at the paper over plans to eliminate 130 jobs, in Paris, Monday, April 14, 2008.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
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(Newser) Le Monde was absent from French streets today for the first time in more than 30 years as staff went on strike at the debt-ridden newspaper. In the ongoing battle over the future of the prestigious evening title, which saw the editor-in-chief pushed out, management is now trying to eliminate 130 jobs, or 25% of journalists. That was too much for staff, who walked off, reports the Times of London.

Despite its position as the most respected paper in France, Le Monde has not turned a profit for seven years and carries a debt of $237 million. Looming over this week's job action is the possibility of a takeover bid by two minority shareholders, one of which is owned by a bosom buddy of Nicolas Sarkozy. Le Monde's staff still control a majority stake in the title.