Printers union censors news in Direct Matin case

After a strike at the printing plant and the destruction of newspapers (see previous post), copies of free French daily Direct Matin were stolen in Paris on February 9. Several thousand copies were taken from a distributor by five or six men and were later found in the Bois de Boulogne. There will be an official police inquiry in this case according to the Morandini website.

The theft – probably conducted by people inspired by the actions of the union “CGT du Syndicat du Livre” (SGLCE-CGT) – is yet another incident in the battle between the union and Direct Matin owner Vincent BollorĂ© after he moved to a cheaper (and non-SGLCE-CGT controlled) printer.

Apparently there are still strikes and other actions going to prevent Direct Matin from printing or distributing papers. News, however, is hard to get.

French media hardly report on the case. An exception is the blog of Claude Soula on the Nouvelle Observateur website were he explains why the media cover the story. French newspapers fear the printers union, if they report on this issue, printers immediately will go on strike or block distribution. Soula calls this “censorship” by the union.

The stakes are high, if other papers would move over to ‘commercial’ instead of ‘newspaper’ printers, the cost of printing could drop with more than 60% while the power of the union would be broken.

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