The International Federation of Journalists has accused managers at CNN, the Atlanta-based news network, of “flagrant disregard for workers’ rights” and is demanding the company reinstate dozens of workers at offices in Washington and New York who have been dismissed.
The IFJ Executive Committee, meeting in Berlin earlier this month, unanimously adopted a statement condemning the reorganisation of work at CNN New York and Washington bureaux. The IFJ is particularly angry that the reorganisation appeared to target long-term unionised staff and has led to the withdrawal of bargaining rights and recognition to their union, NABET-CWA.
“These workers have been cast aside after many years of loyal and professional service,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “This is a dedicated workforce, many of whom have lost their jobs and their union after spending nearly their entire professional careers with CNN.”
The IFJ is calling on CNN President Jim Walton to reconsider the action taken by re-employing dismissed staff and restoring recognition to the NABET-CWA.
“The reputation of CNN as a news leader is built upon its respect for values in journalism,” said Aidan White in a letter to Jim Walton, “but those values are undermined when the company appears to set aside core labour standards and imposes policies that cause distress and violate the rights of its workers.”
The IFJ has appealed to its member unions around the world to write to Walton and to back the campaign being waged by the union to defend its members. “CNN is a global leader in the business, but when it sets a bad example it could have damaging implications world-wide,” said White.
Further information from: 0032 2 235 2200 and www.nabetcwa.org