Police corral Channel 9 studios to quash redundancy protests
Workers storm building after announcement of 1,295 layoffs
The lunchtime news made news in Valencia on Monday when the local police were called to intervene after a group of employees stormed the studio to protest against the sacking of 1,295 workers from the public RTVV regional broadcaster Canal 9.
The employees had the floor for 13 minutes, during which time they railed against the cuts live on air, calling for the resignation of regional Popular Party (PP) premier Alberto Fabra and accused his administration of “defrauding” the Valencian public.
The choice of words was perhaps not accidental, as the channel is notorious as a mouthpiece for the regional PP. During the media frenzy over the Gürtel corruption scandal, which prominently featured Valencia PP politicians, the channel made virtually no mention of the kickbacks case. RTVV justified the layoffs as part of a debt-reduction plan. The broadcaster is some 1.3 billion euros in the red and viewer numbers are in free fall. Just 400 of the total workforce will remain.
At 6pm, despite a heavy police presence, workers again halted a live transmission. At 7pm, a western film began. High noon for Channel 9 is probably still to come.