The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its regional group the European Federation of Journalists today welcomed a “ground-breaking” last-minute agreement in Sweden that has averted a major confrontation between more than 5,000 newspaper journalists and the country’s press employers.
A new three-year collective agreement between the Swedish Journalists’ Federation and press employers was signed just minutes before a deadline for talks that would have seen lock-outs and strikes engulf the industry.
The new deal contains a number of significant advances:
• It ends shocking levels of low pay among provincial newspaper journalists and has met a union objective of a new minimum rate of 25.000 SEK (2.625 Euro) per month for experienced senior journalists;
• It gives an increase averaging ten per cent on newspaper pay scales across the board;
• It maintains author’s rights protection for all journalists working in media houses; and
• It establishes, for the first time, recognition of press, on-line and broadcast journalists working for media houses in the collective agreement. Hitherto only press journalists were covered.
“This is a tremendous and groundbreaking victory for Swedish journalists,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary, meeting with journalists’ leaders in Stockholm as the deadline for industrial action passed.
“Ending the scandal of low pay and protecting author’s rights for all in the newsroom has been achieved by a display of unity and solidarity that led to serious and purposeful negotiations. We salute the determination and commitment of Swedish colleagues,” he said.
White said the agreement – coming soon after the court decision in Denmark last week that secured recognition for freelance journalists in collective bargaining – would be an inspiration to other unions across Europe to press the case for decent work and pay in newspapers where many employers have been imposing stringent cuts in recent years.
For further information contact Aidan White at +32 478 25 86 69 or
Arne Konig at +46 705 17 75 30
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 114 countries worldwide.