April 15, 2015 / 7:17 PM / 5 years ago

French public radio strike winds down after four weeks

PARIS, April 15 (Reuters) - A strike at France’s public radio operation ran out of steam on Wednesday, journalists at the company said, ending four weeks of daily reminders to listeners that the unpopular Socialist government had been unable to stop it.

Radio France’s longest strike on record left listeners switching to private broadcasters and embarrassed President Francois Hollande’s government.

The hardline CGT union, the last to still be on strike after others decided to end it on Tuesday, decided drop its action from Thursday afternoon.

Unions were concerned jobs would be lost under spending cuts sought by the government after years of heavy losses at Radio France, a public-service entity that includes two orchestras as well as local, national and international radio networks.

Radio France’s youthful chief Mathieu Gallet, a former advisor to conservative ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, had set a target of 50 million euros ($53.4 million) in savings by 2019 and proposed cutting 200 to 300 jobs through voluntary redundancies, out of a staff of some 4,900.

Relations with management further deteriorated after press revelations last month that renovation work in Gallet’s office cost 100,000 euros.

$1 = 0.9368 euros Reporting by Gregory Blachier; Writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Andrew Callus

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