IFJ Says Senegalese Authorities Must Improve Conditions at Public Newspaper on Verge of Bankruptcy

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on the Senegalese authorities to improve management and working conditions for journalists and other employees at the public service daily newspaper Le Soleil, which is under threat of bankruptcy.

The Le Soleil chapel of the Trade Union of Information and Communication Professionsals of Senegal (SYNPICS) launched on Wednesday a “petition to save Le Soleil”. The union is protesting against “the guilty silence of the authorities,” bad management at Le Soleil and the bad conditions under which the newspaper’s employees are working.

The union has in recent months initiated a series of actions to sound the alarm about the deplorable working conditions at the paper. This included an open letter addressed to the president of the Republic, two press conferences and a posting campaign. So far the authorities have failed to intervene.

“We express our solidarity with the staff of Le Soleil and we are worried by the alarming situation of the newspaper,” said Gabriel Baglo Director IFJ Africa Office. “We call on the government and Le Soleil’s management and board of directors to start discussions with the union and to take urgent action to improve the living and working conditions for the staff.”

Created more than 40 years ago, Le Soleil was one of the leading public service print media companies of Sub-Saharan Africa. Bad management since 2000 has pushed the newspaper to the verge of bankruptcy, according to SYNPICS-Le Soleil. In 2005, the newspaper had a deficit of 900 million Frank CFA (€1,400,000).

SYNPICS-Le Soleil says that because of this, workers are paid very late, the company is not making contributions for employees’ health and retirement benefits, equipment at newspaper’s office is often broken or malfunctioning, staff routinely have to deal with broken computers, lack of paper and poorly functioning printers.

For further information contact the IFJ: +221 842 01 43

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries