Four senior employees of Israel’s Channel 10 on Wednesday demonstrated in the Finance Ministry building and refused to leave the premises, in protest at the impasse in negotiations to find a solution for the TV channel’s ongoing financial woes.
The chairman of the Channel 10 board, Avi Balashnikov, who was among the protesters, sent a text message to the TV station’s employees that said, “The channel’s management and I refuse to leave the Treasury’s general accounting office! Told not to leave the place until closing. Dozens of employees will join later.”
Noting that they had brought enough food and water to last them a few days, Balashnikov signed off by saying: “No salaries! No closure! Not leaving the building!”
A number of Channel 10 staffers rallied outside the Finance Ministry building, voicing their support for management.
The channel is deep in debt and has been threatened with closure for several months.
Balashnikov told the press that unless a solution was found, hundreds of employees would not receive their salaries. He charged that the Finance Ministry’s demands, including retroactive debt payments, were “delusional,” and accused the ministry of spearheading an organized campaign to shut down media outlets in the country.
In August, Channel 10 sacked 150 staffers, about one-third of its manpower.