Greece: IFJ Backs Striking Journalists' Decision to Print Paper after Months of Unpaid Wages

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European group, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have backed striking journalists from the Greek daily Eleftherotypia who have published their own newspaper after going months without pay from their employer.
"It is a great victory for these journalists who saw their rights violated for months," said EFJ President Arne König. "We give a thumb up to their initiative and we congratulate the Journalists' Union of Athens Daily Newspapers for their support."
On 15 February the journalists, who have been on strike since December 2011, published their own newspaper, entitled "ERGAZOMENOI - Workers at Eleftherotypia!".
The first issue was published with the financial support of the EFJ affiliate, the Journalists' Union of Athens Daily Newspapers. The paper sold out in all kiosks all over Greece and, according to national newspaper circulation data, it surpassed all other newspaper sales in the country. Their employer, who has applied for bankruptcy under Greek law, stopped paying their salaries in August 2011. He still owes nearly 7 million euro in unpaid salaries.

IFJ President Jim Boumelha pledged his support for the journalists: "This just goes to show that despite the huge challenges facing our colleagues in Greece, journalists still have the drive and determination to stand up for their working rights and to stand up for quality journalism. I congratulate these journalists, their colleagues on the newspaper and their union for taking such clear and decisive action and I pledge support from the IFJ's 180 journalists unions worldwide."

By publishing and selling their own newspaper, staff of the daily will be able to compensate for the financial loss of the strike and lack of payment. However, mobilisations and legal action against the rogue employer continue.
During the recent ELEFTHEROTYPIA media workers assembly is was decided by a vote to publish a second issue of the paper on Saturday 26th February.

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries