IFJ Backs General Strike by Spanish Unions against Labour Reforms in Spain



International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today expressed its full backing

of the Spanish Federation of Journalists' Unions (FeSP in Spanish) and

Journalists of CCOO Union in their protest held today Wednesday 29 September against

the reforms of the labour market recently approved by the government of José

Luis R. Zapatero. Both affiliates denounce the reforms as being detrimental, especially

for media workers, and are taking part in the day of action and general strike

called by UGT and CCOO, the two main trade unions confederations of the


"The reduction of salaries and the

lay-offs have already punished hard media employees," said Jim Boumelha, President

of the IFJ, "But the new law which reforms the labour contracts goes further and authorize

more redundancies in case of forecasted losses by companies. This can be

arbitrarily used by the media owners at any time, they have made more than

3,000 lay-offs in the last three years and they will not hesitate to use it

because in the last period almost none of them declared any profits."

According to the labour reforms approved by

the government, the Spanish workers will receive fewer indemnities after being

fired. Until now workers were entitled to 45 days of salary by year worked in

their company but, under the new law, they will receive between 20 and 33 days

by year with a limited amount of 22 monthly payments. The companies will also be

able to renegotiate new collective agreements, even those already signed, if

they claim that their financial situation is bad.

"The government of Zapatero has even put

forward its intention of delaying the age for retirement and the increasing years of contributions necessary to calculate and get a pension," added Jim

Boumelha, "we believe the journalists and the media employees should join all

the other workers to express their absolute opposition to these


It is the seventh general strike that takes place in Spain since the restoration

of democratic rule in the country 33 years ago.

For more

information, please call the following numbers

+ 32 2 235 22 07 (IFJ)

+ 34 93 412 77 63 (FeSP)

+ 34 91 540 92 95 (CCOO)

The IFJ represents over  600.000 journalists in 125 countries