IFJ Backs New All-Out Strike as Greek Media Staff Fight for Working Rights

The International Federation of Journalists and its European section the European federation of Journalists today declared its full support for an all-out 24-hour strike tomorrow by journalists and media staff who are demanding protection of jobs and the urgent payment wages owed to the workforce.

The Coordinating Committee of the Unions of Press Workers along with the Panhellenic Federation of Journalists Unions and the Panhellenic Federation of Media Staff Employees have called the stoppage to draw attention to the scandalous conditions now surrounding work in media.

“The crisis in media in Greece has reached dramatic proportions,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “It’s time for employers and the authorities to end the unfairness that is infecting all sectors of media. New collective agreements are needed to protect jobs and to defend quality and professionalism.”

Greek unions have issued a number of key demands in support of the strike which are focused on the defence of jobs and action to combat unemployment. In particular the unions are demanding

• Immediate payment of wages owed to workers.
• payment of debts by employers to Press Workers’ Social Security Funds
• implementation of collective agreements and new agreements to ban the practice of people being forced to work without social security benefits, and for low wages and in precarious jobs; employment and to create permanent jobs workers at the public broadcaster ERT, so that full time employment contracts are signed by all.
• Equality for men and women insurance and pension rights, and
• Government action to apply labour laws and exert control on irresponsible employers.

The Unions also want action over media concentration, a plan to defend and strengthen public broadcasting and a fairer distribution system concerning government advertising.

“A strike is always the action of last resort,” said White. “It is clear that the critical condition of Greek media requires a powerful demonstration of the concern within the newsroom and media workplaces. It is urgent that employers and the government talk to the Unions about solving these problems.”

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