UNI joins Swiss unions in saying No to the No-Billag Initiative!
Switzerland is preparing to vote on the “No-Billag” initiative, which, if it passes, will lead to the removal of the licence fee that is the cornerstone of the funding of public service broadcasting. The initiative also prohibits any state subsidies to public service broadcasting. “No-Billag” could lead to the closure of up to 60 public TV and radio channels, with local media and minority-language services in particular in jeopardy. Such hits to the public service broadcasting sector will have a substantial impact on the quality of journalism and the functioning of democracy in Switzerland;
In a video message to UNI Deputy General Secretary, Christy Hoffman said: “We at UNI Global Union and with our 900 affiliated unions in service sectors around the world say No to the No-BILAG initiative. We say yes to a quality public broadcasting service! We say yes to independent information for a fair and democratic landscape! We say yes to cultural, media and linguistic diversity!”
Download Christy's video message here:
The initiative will have a substantial impact on the jobs in the sector, directly leading to the loss of 7000 jobs. When taking into account jobs indirectly linked to the sector, the estimated reduction of jobs could be as high as 13000. These jobs represent the cultural know-how of the Swiss nation. UNI MEI supports the Swiss trade unions in their demand that the “No-Billag” initiative be rejected, to ensure that Switzerland continues to have a strong and independent public service broadcasting sector and to protect the jobs in the sector.
UNI Europa Regional Secretary, Oliver Roethig and the President of the European Media and Entertainment sector of UNI Europa, William Maunier also joined the Swiss unions in their call to reject the No-Billag initiative stressing that public service broadcasting stands for independence from political and economic power and for participation of all citizens in fair democratic landscape.
Dowload William's video message here:
Many media unions form across Europe expressed their concerns about the No-Billag initiative in letters to Swiss Public Service Broadcasting Union SSM and stressed their support for the campaign of their Swiss colleagues.
For more information on the campaign to preserve public service media in Switzerland go to:
Download our statement in English, French, German and Spanish here