Arab World: unions agree a year-long action plan to improve media workers' rights

A dozen journalists unions from the Arab world have agreed a year-long action plan to fight for improved working rights and conditions for media workers across the region.

During two days of planning and strategic discussion in Amman the IFJ-affiliated unions committed to a programme of:

•Building stronger unions and extending collective bargaining

•Organising to win new agreements with regional media employers

•Increasing the effectiveness of unions through developing improved administration, structures, financing, budgeting and organisation

The meeting, made possible by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, also held discussions on strategies to tackle the impact of the economic crisis facing print media and a further high level conference will be organised with the Federation of Arab Journalists later this year.

Discussions on building gender equality both in the media and in the unions will result in the development of model clauses for workplace agreements and action to push for improved laws and regulations to tackle discrimination and inequality.

IFJ unions also agreed to extend and develop relations with other unions and the International Trade Union Confederation to build wider solidarity in the fight for journalists' rights and conditions. There will also be stronger engagement with international institutions such as the International Labor Organisation (ILO) to defend workers' rights.

IFJ Deputy General Secretary Jeremy Dear who took part in the discussions said: "We have recognised that the best way to defend and extend journalists' social and professional rights is to build stronger unions and extend collective bargaining."

"As part of the IFJ's working programme our affiliates in the Arab world have a plan of action to recruit, build, organise and develop our unions to secure a stronger more effective voice for journalists on safety, impunity, the crisis facing print media, delivering gender equality and on the working conditions of journalists".

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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