ORKLA European Works Council: First Steps, First Success in Poland

The Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ) in co-operation with the IFJ Executive member member Andrzej Krajewski organised an Orkla Media Trade Union Seminar of Polish dailies, in Warsaw on October 26, 2002. The aim was to include journalists working in Orkla Press Polska in the existing European Works Council system of information and consultation in Orka Media/Berlinske. The Norwegian media company Orkla has subsidiaries in Denmark and in Poland and represents all in all about 30.000 employees. The Norwegian Union of Journalists had been able to negotiate a good agreement regarding a European Works Council covering Norway and Denmark in 2001.

Most of the about 20 Polish participants were either members of the Syndicate of Journalists or of "Solidarnosc". They reported about difficulties regarding negotiations of collective agreements with the employers at local level. The unions are too weak to be able to influence staff policy.

The meeting agreed to establish a forum of journalists within Orkla Press Polska. The aim of the forum is to establish representation from Polish employees in Orkla for information sharing with the colleagues in Norway and Denmark. Three Polish, one Danish and two Norwegian members were appointed as a working group, which will prepare the next and more formal meeting for representatives of union members from all 13 Orkla dailies to take place in January 2003.

The project "Union Building among polish journalists" is funded by the Norwegian government and the copyright collecting society Kopinor.