Makeup, hair, wardrobe staff protest external contractor

A two-day strike at Mediaset — the first to hit the private broadcasting group controlled by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi — kicked off on Sunday.

Over 50 staff in the makeup, hairdressing and wardrobe departments in Milan and Rome are protesting the company’s decision to put an external contractor in charge of the services.

The major CGIL and CSIL unions said they feared that Mediaset’s decision to outsource the departments from Feb. 1 could herald a wave of wider cost-cutting.

Mediaset’s makeup artists have appealed directly to Berlusconi to intervene.

In a statement they said, “We are appealing to you because we think expelling us from the company, in favor of a precarious and fragile alternative, is mistaken and counterproductive.”

Mediaset insisted the move was simply a strategic initiative, and said there would be no job or wage cuts.

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