Solidarity messages to colleagues at Fairfax, May 2017

Credit: MEAA

Messages of support for striking workers opposing massive job cuts at Fairfax Media in Australia have been flooding in.

IFJ affiliates in Spain, Scandinavia, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Belgium and the UK and Ireland, Palestine, Germany, Switzerland, Tunisia... have already pledged their solidarity and support for the fight to save jobs and defend quality journalism. The International Trade Union Confederation has also backed the fight. ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said: “The decision of Fairfax management is wrong and misguided, and the international trade union movement stands with you every step of the way in your campaign to reverse it”.

Messages of support can be sent to Opens window for sending emailPaul.murphy(at)meaa(dot)org and Opens window for sending emailm.strom(at)iinet.net(dot)au

Protest letters can also be sent to the company Opens external link in new windowhere


International Trade Union Confederation

Dear Colleagues,

We were shocked to hear of the unilateral and deeply damaging plan of Fairfax management to cut 125 full-time equivalent jobs, at a time when the world is crying out for quality journalism to combat the lies, distortions and fake news which are driving xenophobic, nationalistic and extremely dangerous political narratives. On behalf of the International Trade Union Confederation, representing 181 million trade union members worldwide, I wish to join with the International Federation of Journalists in expressing our total solidarity with your action. We are witnessing a closing of democratic space around the world, and the exercise of free speech and good journalism are vital to democracy itself.

The decision of Fairfax management is wrong and misguided, and the international trade union movement stands with you every step of the way in your campaign to reverse it.

Sharan Burrow

General Secretary

International Trade Union Confederation

Brussels


National Union of Journalists – UK and Ireland

We learned with great concern of the decision of Fairfax Media to enforce sweeping redundancies at the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and the Australian Financial Review. The axing of 125 jobs will have a devastating impact on the workers and their families. The proposed cuts will severely damage the titles at a time when editorial investment is crucial to retaining audiences.

On behalf of NUJ members in the UK and Ireland we extend solidarity to your members and congratulate you on the swift response to the announcement of unilateral action on the part of the company.

We wish you will well in your strike action and assure you of our strong support.

Séamus Dooley, Acting General Secretary

Tim Dawson, President


Federación de Asociaciones de Periodistas de España / Federación de Sindicatos de Periodistas - Spain

As Spaniards we always thought that Australian people were our antipodeans, but after receiving the news about the drastic plan to supress 125 jobs in Fairfax Media, we feel ourselves very much identified with our colleagues of the Sydney Morning Herald, Age and Australian Financial Review.

The brutality of the mentioned plan has to be called off because quality and free journalism continue to be an important tool of pluralism deserving a real and true democracy. On 3rd May, the World Press Freedom Day, we support the strike of Australian journalists struggling for their right to negotiate any possible alternatives to that savage jobs’ cut.

From Spain:

FEDERACIÓN DE ASOCIACIONES DE PERIODISTAS DE ESPAÑA

(Federation of Journalists Associations of Spain)

FEDERACIÓN DE SINDICATOS DE PERIODISTAS

(Federation of Journalists Unions)


AJP – Belgium

The Belgian Association of Professional Journalists (AJP) supports the Fairfax journalists in their protest against the drastic cut of 125 jobs and the threat to the quality of their work!


TGS – Turkey

It is quite right for journalists to defend quality journalism and the staffing levels it requires. The Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikası (the Journalists’ union of Turkey) sends full support to our MEAA colleagues on strike at Fairfax Media. 


SJF - Sweden

To our colleagues at Fairfax Media , Australia:

We support Your fight for decent work and conditions!

In solidarity,

The Swedish Union of Journalists


IMTUU - Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine

Dear colleagues,

Please find Initiates file downloadattached our letter of solidarity.

Sincerely yours,

IMTUU


DJV - The German Federation of Journalists

Dear Colleagues at Fairfax Media!

We are with you in spirit. We feel solidarity with you. Keep fighting for your jobs and rights and for fair conditions. We keep our fingers crossed for you.

The German Federation of Journalists (DJV)  


Unifor - Canada

To the striking journalists at Fairfax Media,

Unifor sends its solidarity. With more than 12,000 journalists and media workers in newspapers, television, magazines, news websites and film production, we are Canada’s media union.

Like you, we have felt the pain of massive job cuts as journalists – and ultimately our readers and viewers – pay the price for management decisions.

Like you, our democracy is threatened by every job loss and every voice silenced that might hold power to account. Your struggle is our struggle, and we are with you.

Stuart Laidlaw

Unifor National representative


SNJT - Tunisia

Cher collègues, cher camarades.

Au nom de l'ensemble des journalistes en Tunisie, le Syndicat National des Journalistes Tunisiens (Snjt), affirme son soutien inconditionnel aux collègues de FairFax Media suite à la décision de licencier 125 emplois, le jour de la liberté de la presse.

Notre Syndicat réaffirme son soutien à votre action de grève, un acte de militantisme en vue de protester contre le licenciement des journalistes. Votre combat est "juste" et "précieux", celui de votre droit pour l'exercice de votre métier.

Le Snjt, mobilisera ses forces pour sensibiliser les collègues Tunisiens en solidarité avec votre combat. Votre combat est le notre. Unis, nous ferons la force. Bon courage.

Zied Dabbar

Membre du Bureau exécutif du Syndicat National des Journalistes Tunisiens 


SYNDICOM - Switzerland

Dear colleagues,

Through the International Federation of Journalists IFJ, we read about the strike of the journalists at Fairfax Media Australia. 

On behalf of syndicom, the Swiss union of media and communication, we would like to express our solidarity to the colleagues on strike.

The announced massive dismissal of 125 journalists full-time jobs at the newsrooms of the three newspapers Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and the Australian Financial Review is a drastic cut in the media staff which endangers the quality of media in Australia. The fact, that the management refuses to negotiate with the staff representatives and the involved unions shows a harsh lack of social responsibility.

In Switzerland, we experienced similar situations since 2009, when the biggest Swiss newspaper and online media editor Tamedia sacked a quarter (25%) of its staff at the Newspapers “Tages-Anzeiger” and “Der Bund” (including editorial staff and fix freelancers) - without accepting the journalists propositions to reduce the loss and without a decent social plan.

Still, a strike wasn’t possible, but the staff and participating Unions managed to make pressure with public actions and demonstrations, so that the management had to accept to negotiate considerable improvements in the social plan, with additional payments for the fired staff and fix freelancers. It is worth to fight for decent worker rights! We congratulate the striking staff for your collective courage and send our solidarity to your movement!

Kind regards,

Stephanie Vonarburg

SYNDICOM Central secretary 


CWA - Canada

Dear brothers and sisters,

CWA Canada and the 6,000 media workers we represent stand shoulder to shoulder with you as you fight to protect jobs and journalism. The loss of 125 jobs at Fairfax Media would be a huge blow not only to journalism but also to democracy. It means 125 less journalists telling the stories that matter to Australians and holding politicians and corporations to account. At a time when journalism is under attack around the world and fake news is proliferating, we need more professional journalists to defend democracy, not less. Keep fighting the good fight!

Martin O'Hanlon

President, CWA Canada


RUJ - Russia

Dear colleagues and friends,

The Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) welcomes your decesion to go on strike and fight for the rights of our fellow journalists of Fairfax. On behalf of RUJ Board I wish you to continue the fight with drastic cuts of jobs until the total victory. The RUJ as the member of the global IFJ family believes that international solidarity can be a useful tool in such kind of struggle, so you can count on us and any our support that we can provide.

In solidarity,

Tim Shafir

RUJ Executive Secretary/IFJ ExCom member


NUJ - Nepal 

We, NUJ-N, stand with the staffs of Fairfax and MEAA against the cutting series of positions at Fairfax.


NUJT - Thailand

In name NUJT, we support Australian journalists help to demand fairness for 200 media labors of Fairfax. Media workers should not bear result from faulty management of a media owner. We hope all our friends in Australian win.


PJS - Palestine

Dear Mr. Marcus Strom and Mr. Paul Murphy,

This is to confirm the strong support and solidarity of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) with the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and the Australian Financial Review journalists in their protest against the Fairfax Media company management’s decision to cut of 125 full time jobs. PJS is fully support the journalists strike. 

In solidarity,

Nasser Abubaker

PJS President


Nepal Press Union (NPU) - Nepal 

We strongly condemn the announcement of Fairfax. We are with MEAA and its members. Our solidarity to The IFJ and MEAA upcoming movement. We also demand restore of all 125 journalist. 


The Media Asosiesen blong Vanuatu (MAV) - Vanuatu

We are giving our firm support to Fairfax and sending you its solidarity to its journalists. As we are just celebrating the World Press Freedom Day, MAV as an affiliate member of IFJ and beneficiary from the work of disseminating information through largest media companies like the ones in Australia, we give all our support.


The Afghan Independent Journalists Association - Afghanistan

We stand in solidarity with our Australian colleagues. Independent and quality journalism is vital for press freedom to flourish, yet these cuts will impact on the future of this at Fairfax. 


Free Media Movement - Sri Lanka

We are in solidarity with the collective decision by Fairfax media comrades to fight for the rights of their colleagues. It was a shame to hear this on the World Press Freedom Day, however, the collective action you have taken to fight for rights of media freedom and journalists' rights is an example for the rest of the world. It is our pleasure to hear that. May your fight win! May the rights of media comrades are protected! 


South East Asia Journalists' Union (SEAJU)

Read the letter sent by our affiliate to Greg Hywood, CEO & Managing Director of Fairfax Media, Opens external link in new windowhere.


NUSOJ - Somalia

Read the union's letter of solidarity for strking journalists of Fairfax media Initiates file downloadhere.


SNJ-CGT - France

Dear colleagues,

We just heard about the strike of Journalists at Fairfax Media against a quarter of all newsroom jobs cuts.

The French Union of Journalists (SNJ-CGT) wishes to support your action. In France the editors are reducing everywhere they can the number of journalists. Precarity is growing, salaries are frozen, conditions of work are deteriorating and finally the quality of information is falling down.

The concentrations of media are reducing the pluralism when big international companies are controling the majority of medias in our country and in many others in Europe. We hope you will win this struggle and stop the redundancies.

In solidarity,

Patrick Kamenka 


Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers - Greece

JUADN Executive Board send message of support and solidarity with Australian colleagues striking in newspapers ‘Sydney Morning Herald’, ‘The Age’ and ‘Australian Financial Review’ to preserve 125 colleagues jobs and newspapers’ prestige guaranteed by the quality of journalists work.

Athenian media journalists hit hard during the seven years of our country’s economic crisis facing 50% unemployment and work with no pay, state that news information is a privilege and editorial independence requires full employment and social security rights.

Athens, 4th May 2017

Stamatis Nikolopoulos, JUADN President 

Nana Daoudaki, JUADN General Secretary


Federazione Nationale della Stampa Italiana - Italy

Read a solidarity message on behalf of Raffaele Lorusso, General secretary Fnsi, to the Australian colleagues on strike for a week against the company Initiates file downloadhere.


Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) - India

The Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) condemned reports that 125 editorial positions were cut by Fairfax recently. It has also supported the seven days strike by Fairfax. It may be recalled that Fairfax is one of Australia's largest media outlets  - Delhi Union of Journalists

FNJ is with the Australian journalists in their hard times. FNJ believes in professional safety of all the journalists around the globe and against sudden and uncalled for cut of jobs. Our solidarity with the journalists in Australia - Federation of Nepali Journalists

The National Union of Journalists (India) strongly condemns the move of Fairfax media house of Australia to retrench 125 journalits.The management of that media house had already ousted 200 employees before this. The move taken on the very day of World Press Freedom is a manifestation of audacity on the part of the management of Fairfax. Unfortunately, not only in Australia but also in many other parts of the world the job security of the journalists is at stake.  The security of job of the mediamen is an extreme necessity to protect the freedom of the press. That is why the National Union of Journalists (India) urges upon the world body of IFJ to organise a strong protest all over the globe to condemn and protest against this kind of actions of the media houses.

National Union of Journalists, India


National Union of Journalists Malaysia (NUJ)

Read the union's letter of solidarity for strking journalists of Fairfax media Initiates file downloadhere.


Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) - Pakistan

Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) with over 2000 members strongly condemns the recent announcement by Fairfax Media of axing the jobs of 125 journalists.

Pakistani journalists have always stood up to anti-media forces including dictatorships that have tried to muffle the voices of journalists and paid dearly as a consequence. KUJ members are not new to the different techniques that media houses use to try and suppress journalists – delayed salary, sackings, job insecurity, hiring on low pay with no facilities etc. 

KUJ has always stood for the rights of journalists, freedom of the media, and right of expression and has never cowered in the face of the most dangerous opponents including dictators.

Pakistani journalists have survived the regime of dictators like President General Ziaul Haq when four journalists were publically flogged in 1978 for standing up to the regime and openly criticizing the government.

Then again in November 2007 the media rallied against the ban that President General Pervez Musharraf put on the media after he declared an emergency rule in Pakistan.  Several channels were targeted especially Geo News and forced to shut down. KUJ had organized protest rallies and sit-ins, and its members bore the brute of the government forces as well as arrests at the time.

Currently, KUJ is protesting against the closing down of the BOL channel in Pakistan and the unemployment of thousands of journalists and media personnel in Pakistan. And also for Dawn Media Group which is being pressurized by the authorities for what is known as the ‘Dawn Leaks’ -  a news story printed in the newspaper Dawn newspaper highlighting an alleged confrontation between the civilian government and the military at a meeting in October 2016 which has since been a very sensitive issue in the national politics.

Such incidents have over time only reinforced the determination of Pakistani journalists to stand up to forces working against their right of expression and freedom of speech.

Therefore, KUJ completely supports journalists in Australia and understand the hardships they are facing and demands that Fairfax retracts its decision of sacking the journalists and reinstates them or pays – not only these 125 but also the 200 journalists sacked in 2015 - three months salary. 

Hassan Abbas, KUJ President

Wajid Raza Isfahani, KUJ General Secretary


Federación Nacional De Periodistas Del Ecuador (FENAPE) 

Read the federation's letter of solidarity Initiates file downloadhere.


IJU - The Indian Journalists Union

The Indian Journalists Union condemns the decision of the Fairfax management and expresses solidarity with the striking journalists. The move by the management smacks of short sightedness and is an assault on good and independent journalism. Don’t compromise on quality and credibility of your media, it’s a bad call, take it back, the IJU would like to caution the management. At the same time, we wish the striking journalists and MEAA all success. Long live unity!

S N Sinha, IJU President

D Amar, IJU Secretary General