Around 2,900 journalists have gone on strike in Norway creating havoc in newspapers, local radio, local television and online newspapers in a national protest over attempts by media employers to weaken pension rights.
The strike followed a collapse in negotiations on a new national agreement over the issue of pension rights. In many newspapers the management have changed pension arrangements over the past two years without consulting the workforce.
The IFJ-affiliated Norwegian Journalists Union (NJ) has demanded no weakening of pension arrangements and changes in the system should be allowed only when both sides agree. The strike began when employers steadfastly refused to give such an undertaking.
“The issue of pensions is a fundamental matter of concern to all workers,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “Employers should not play games with their employees future. Journalists and other workers have a stake in the debate over pensions. Their rights must be respected.”
Strong backing for the strike has come from all sides, including other unions in the industry. The workforce in the media administration and printing sectors have broken off their negotiations with employers and are planning to strike at the end of May - if the journalists are still out. Their unions have made the same demand on consultation rights over pension plans as the NJ.
The IFJ is calling on all its member unions to send messages of support to the Norwegian strikers at firstname.lastname@example.org. The strike is already strong supported by journalists in other Nordic countries.
“The issues here affect journalists and media workers in every country of Europe and beyond,” said Arne Konig, Chair of the European Federation of Journalists. “The fight in Norway is one in which we all have a stake and should be supported by colleagues everywhere.”
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The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries