Journalists on strike in Greece to defend collective rights

Today 19 February, journalists in Athens and across the country went on

strike, ahead of the general strike called by the General

Confederation of Greek Workers to take place

tomorrow. Journalists went on strike one day earlier in

order to cover the general workers mobilization but the media strike

coincides with the visit of French President F. Hollande in Athens.

The

striking  mobilisation

was called by the IFJ/EFJ affiliates, the Journalists'

Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN), the Panhellenic Federation of

Journalists' Unions (PFJU)

and joined today by the

Journalists' Union of Macedonia and Thrace (ESIEMTH). It started two

weeks ago and is still going on with the participation of the collaborating media

workers Unions spreading to private media as well.

The main strike demands are:
a.      Bargaining for

collective agreements,

currently replaced by a "Joint Ministerial Decision". The government

insists on imposing blanket wages and working conditions for all public

employees thus reducing journalists salaries dramatically, causing job

redundancies and drops in media insurance funds resources, affecting overall

media operations and public opinion information. 
b.      The

government to take steps in relieving unemployed journalists and media workers

from tax payments and special levies on electricity bills.
c.     

To take

steps to compensate losses in the Journalists Funds reserves compelled to

participate in the "PSI process" replacing private bonds with new public bonds,

endangering the ability to provide pensions and health insurance coverage for

journalists and their families.
d.      To

reverse the law allowing the reserves of

public broadcaster ERT to be allocated to electricity producing

companies.
e.      Journalists working in internet media to

enjoy same insurance coverage and working conditions, which needs to be

regulated by introducing legal adjustments.

Reactions to the strike have been very strong since ERT has repeatedly

gone to Court, demanding to declare the strikes illegal. On four occasions the Court ruled that journalists should return to work but did not declare

the strike demands were illegal, therefore the industrial actions will continue.

Contact: Dori Ralli, JUADN