Eurovision 2016

Could Eurovision be threatened by TV staff strike?

Could Eurovision be threatened by TV staff strike?
Eurovision presenters Petra Mede (right) and Måns Zelmerlöw (left). Photo: SVT
Around 80 staff at Swedish public broadcaster SVT could walk out during final Eurovision preparations if a union strike goes ahead.
Planned industrial action by 11,000 Swedish engineering staff next week, including dozens believed to be working in Eurovision-related broadcasting, was put on hold on Friday after Almega, the Employer's Organisation for the Swedish Service Sector, argued that the walkout violated national strike rules.
However the protest could still take place ahead of Eurovision, if the courts side with the Swedish Union of Engineers, which is behind the planned action.
The union's legal advisor Lars Åström told Swedish newswire TT on Friday that it would take at least five working days for a decision to be reached.
“Before then, we cannot do anything. The employers are trying to throw a spanner in the works and hope that we will lose our hunger, but it's exactly the opposite. Morale is going up among our members,” he said.
Eurovision takes place on Saturday May 14th, with SVT planning a range of related programmes in the coming weeks.
Around 80 staff working on Eurovision preparations are understood to be among the union members who could decide to stay at home if the industrial action takes place.
On Thursday the event's organisers announced that construction was already under way to create what they hope will be “the best stage ever” at a Eurovision Song Contest.
“A team of 250 people – consisting of audio, video, light, generator and stage crews – are working day and night in the Globe Arena to complete most of the construction before the stand-in singers begin rehearsals,” read a press release.
The set will include 26 cameras, 1500 lamps and banks of LED screens on the walls and floor areas.