IFJ Accuses Greek Media Owners of Declaring an “All-out War” on Workers Rights

The International Federation of Journalists, and its regional organisation the European Federation of Journalists today accused Greek media bosses of declaring “all-out war” on basic workers’ rights as thousands of Greek media workers prepared to strike over the next two days

Journalists and a range of other workers across all sectors of media are embarking on an unprecedented series of stoppages in response to the intransigence of employers over talks for a new wages and conditions agreement.

“The refusal by employers even to negotiate shows that they are only interested in a full-scale confrontation,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “They make a serious mistake if they think this sort of tactic will intimidate journalists and other media staff in to submission”.

A second strike by Greek unions in as many weeks will begin tomorrow morning for two days involving all media and will include a 3-hour walkout on Wednesday afternoon on Public TV and Radio. This follows an initial one-day action a little over a week ago and repeated efforts by journalists’ unions to negotiate fairly with employers. The Owners Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers have refused to participate in a satisfactory resolution to a deadlock in pay negotiations, failing to show up at the strike on 2 July.

“Employers are simply attempting to provoke all-out war,” said White. “Instead of fighting a pitched battle for decent social conditions, there should be sane and sensible dialogue to make the peace”.

The strike by the IFJ affiliates, the Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers, the Union of Periodical and Electronic Press and the Journalists’ Union of the Macedonia and Thrace Daily Newspapers, along with all of the daily print press, distribution and news agencies and broadcasters, comes in response to the standstill in pay negotiations by the employers who continue to push for a percentage increase which does not compensate for workers lost buying power.

“Even at this late stage employers should pull back and negotiate in a professional, fair and democratic manner”. White said EFJ members around Europe would rally to the support of strikers in Greece.

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The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries