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FRANCE

Radio France strike ends after 28 days, mediator steps in

Regular programming was to resume after unions ended the strike
Regular programming was to resume after unions ended the strike Reuters/Charles Platiau

Most of the striking employees of public broadcaster Radio France returned to work Thursday and regular programming was to resume after unions ended a 28-day strike.

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A mediator appointed by Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin last week will now begin reviewing points made by the group's 4,400-strong workforce and its management.

"I welcome the end of the conflict," Pellerin told AFP.

Unions had protested management plans to slash 300 jobs and shift some radio shows to the web - part of a broader government bid to encourage hiring and reduce state spending.

The last of five trade unions accepted a compromise reform deal on Wednesday and voted to return to work, ending round-the-clock music and abbreviated news broadcasts during a record-long strike for the public radio group.

The unions have been pitted against Radio France's chief executive, Mathieu Gallet, who was tasked with plugging a 21-million-euro hole in the broadcaster’s budget, 90 per cent of which is covered by French households with a television.

Gallet became especially unpopular after the French press revealed last month that renovation work in his office cost 100,000 euros, and that he hired an image consultant to the tune of 90,000 euros a year.

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