Resolutions of the ZUJ/IFJ workshop on Trade Union Development - Zambia, September 2003

Journalists from different media groups meeting at Baluba Motel in Luanshya at a Zambia Union of Journalists (ZUJ) International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Media for Democracy in Africa workshop on Trade Union Development in Zambia do hereby agree and make the following resolutions:

THAT the ZUJ should take a key role in efforts designed to create the Media Ethics and Complaints Commission being spearheaded by two other Zambian media associations;

Agree that professional integrity and ethical conduct must be dictated by the moral conscious and not rely on enforced discipline.

Agree further that a common ethical body was the surest way to protect the profession from other unethical practices committed by other people in the name of the profession

Recommend that the forthcoming ZUJ General Conference adopts a professional code of conduct and ethics and that a non-legal self-regulatory body should implement this code of conduct.

In this vein the gathering also sent a message of solidarity with Zimbabwean journalists and condemn the closure of the Daily News and call upon that country’s government to undertake a review of media laws.

That it was of paramount importance for training and retraining of members to create awareness that is needed to unify the profession

Those deliberate efforts in this vein are taken to discard perceptions of differences between media workers in the private and public media

To establish a Membership Recruitment Committee that will supervise the membership drive in new institutions where journalists do not belong to trade unions, and organise freelance journalists

To take note that trade union organisation was an on-going exercise that should be executed with caution in order not to put at risk jobs of potential members given the harsh environment of high levels of unemployment;

Note further that target is set to guide this exercise and ensure that the programme remains on course;

That government should amend laws that infringe on rights of workers and that the casualisation of labour in the media should not be entertained;

That the ZUJ should network with sister unions in the region in line with global and regional solidarity under the IFJ initiative to create independent trade unions in the region through the Southern African Journalists Association (SAJA), a regional network of national unions in southern Africa.

Call upon the ZUJ to be more proactive in responding to internal problems that arise;

That media shareholders must desist from editorial interference and that journalists affected by such acts must make formal complaints to the union leadership that will take the matter up on their behalf;

That the union should promote and encourage free collective bargaining without any interference of any kind and that detailed research should inform proposals that are taken to the bargaining table;

To review Recognition Agreements and Collective Agreements to make them conform to the provisions of the labour laws;

To remain vigilant to check violations of the Recognition Agreements and Collective Agreements that are duly signed between management and the union;

Heartily thank the European Union for supporting the Media for Democracy in Africa project under which the IFJ funded this workshop.

Taken this day of the 18 September, 2003, at Baluba Motel, Luanshya - Zambia

Trade Union Development Workshop in Zambia, Baluba Motel, Luanshya, 18th to 20th September, 2003.

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