The revolt continues to mount within the editorial staff of Les Échos. After the strike of signatures initiated at the end of March for 24 hours, the editorial staff of the economic daily owned by the LVMH group of Bernard Arnault decided this Thursday to go on strike for 24 hours of print and web publications. The journalists were called to vote at 4:30 p.m. during a general meeting organized by the Society of Journalists (SDJ). In detail, the vote for the strike won with 218 votes, against only 3 against and a blank vote. With this strike, Friday's daily will not appear. “I deeply regret this strike action, first and foremost for our readers. It's never a good solution, nor a joy for anyone, whether for the management or the writing of our daily life, ”comments to Le Figaro Pierre Louette, CEO of the Les Echos-Le Parisien group.
The SDJ had informed him a few hours earlier in the day of its wish to change the electorate for the upcoming appointment of the new editorial director. The statutes of the business daily and the independence agreement, signed in 2007, allow journalists to comment on the candidate proposed by the shareholder. "Today, the management of the Les Echos group wants to empty of its substance the journalists' right of veto over the appointment of an editorial director provided for in the independence agreement", explains the SDJ in a press release. “Because the management presents a list of voters far beyond the field of the permanent editorial staff of Les Échos (CDI, CDD, apprentices, regular freelancers), a list which even includes non-journalists. Knowing that in this ballot, abstentions count in support of the shareholder's candidate, ”it is specified.
But Pierre Louette refused to comply with this request. “This agreement was well known to everyone. And the definition of the electorate is the same for professional elections. I will not lend myself to a sorting between journalists, a few days before the election which was scheduled for the end of June, ”comments Pierre Louette. “We do not know of any election in which we change the electoral process before going to the vote. The SDJ had full latitude to ask to renegotiate the agreement before December 21, the date of its last renewal. She did not want to do it, ”slips the leader. Pierre Louette explains that there are no possible discussions on the agreement. “I solemnly ask the editorial staff of Les Echos to get back to work,” he insists.
Since the departure in March of Nicolas Barré from his post as editorial director, journalists have denounced the interventionism of their shareholder Bernard Arnault. "The press release announcing the departure of Nicolas Barré from his post cannot hide the reality of his brutal eviction by the shareholder in contradiction with the guarantees of independence bitterly negotiated at the time of the takeover of Les Échos by LVMH in 2007. “, wrote a few weeks ago in a press release the SDJ.
“I note that Nicolas Barré has taken on new functions in the editorial staff, and immediately did an exclusive interview with Emmanuel Macron. And I'm delighted about it,” replies Pierre Louette today.
It is François Vidal, close collaborator of Nicolas Barré and deputy director of the drafting, which ensures since the interim with the direction of the drafting of the economic daily. According to our information, it is he who is approached to officially take the head of the newspaper.