RTS case: the SSM union welcomes a shy first step

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Decisions that alone will not be enough to restore confidence. This is in substance the position of the Swiss Union of Mass Media (SSM) after the statements of the leadership of the SSR. “We are waiting for very quick concrete measures to make a fundamental change in the corporate culture”, indicates Valérie Perrin, union secretary of SSM Romandie. In particular, staff involvement in decision-making processes and in the appointment of executives is required. “Today, employees are disillusioned, they wait for management to move from words to deeds,” she warns. A perceptible feeling within the editorial staff, which oscillates between questioning, caution, relief or even dismay in the face of measures deemed insufficient.

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The SSM also defends a more critical reading than that of the board of directors regarding the report on the chain of responsibilities. “To say that there were no serious mistakes does not mean that all is well”, underlines Valérie Perrin, wondering about the possibility, for the current management, to embody the change. The 230 or so testimonies collected by an external hotline will not lead to the opening of new disciplinary investigations. Disappointment? “It just means that there are no cases requiring immediate urgent action. However, the dysfunctions observed will have to be remedied, ”notes Valérie Perrin. “In addition, it is not necessary to be in the presence of qualified harassment to notice the suffering at work.” Very involved in equality issues within the company, the RTS Collective of June 14, for its part, has chosen not to speak for the moment.

“A figure to embody change”

Last fall, the Geneva State Councilor Lisa Mazzone asked for Gilles Marchand to be heard within the Transport and Telecommunications Commission. La Verte hopes that “awareness” is demonstrated on a daily basis and impatiently awaits the conclusions of the investigation into the other grievances expressed, scheduled for next June. In his eyes, the scale of the movement already shows the “lack of confidence” that reigns within the company, despite existing tools. “Management must now give pledges and appoint a figure within it to embody change, a role that Gilles Marchand can hardly assume himself,” says Lisa Mazzone.

Read also: Gilles Marchand is invited to explain himself to parliamentarians

For Brigitte Mantilleri, head of the Equality Department at the University of Geneva, the SSR took up its responsibilities, albeit late and under the constraint of revelations in the press. “Beyond the individuals that we can move or replace, it is the entire business climate that must change if we want to prevent history from repeating itself,” she said. According to her, this requires a clearly stated framework, “certain behaviors are no longer tolerated”, but above all through an effective listening system. “Talking about the harassment or mobbing suffered remains an enormous risk-taking,” she recalls. Employees must feel sufficiently supported to dare to do so before the situation escalates. ”