Associated Press: Campaign to Defend Union Rights

The IFJ Executive Committee, meeting in Sydney, Australia, from December 2-3rd 2005, condemns the actions of the Associated Press over its the dismissal of unionised editorial staff at its Mexico City bureau where workers have been coerced to sign agreements disowning attachment to their trade union.

The IFJ is deeply concerned at reports from AP representatives on the spot that this action is part of a co-ordinated global strategy to eliminate trade union representation among the AP workforce.

The IFJ further notes the refusal of the Company’s Chief Executive Officer to repudiate these reports.

In these circumstances it is impossible not to conclude that AP, after many years of attachment to the principles of sound industrial relations and collective bargaining, is seeking changes that will inevitably lead to a deterioration of workers’ rights, a fall in morale within the editorial workforce and, as a consequence, a risk of declining editorial quality.

The IFJ Executive Committee calls upon the management of AP to reconsider its position, to renew its commitment to social partnership with trade unions in developing sound industrial relations and to review its actions in Mexico City.

The IFJ Executive Committee agrees that the IFJ will campaign vigorously against these anti-union developments and instructs the General Secretary, in consultation with relevant affiliates, to prepare a plan of action.

The IFJ calls upon its affiliates in countries where AP is working and upon the international trade union movement to express solidarity with the workforce in Mexico City and to inform local AP management that they will resist all attempts to weaken and undermine union bargaining rights.

December 3rd 2005

For further information contact +32 2 235 22 05
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries