Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the biggest group of journalists in Europe, today
raised its concerns over recent developments taking place in Slovenian media
with the abusive sacking of a trade union leader.
that this measure will create a precedent which represents a serious threat to legal certainty and that
it will endanger the constitutional
right to trade union activities and journalists' duties arising from the
professional autonomy," said EFJ President Arne König.
A union official
for the Union of Slovenian Journalists and Editor-in-Chief of Obrazi magazine, Alma Maruška Sedlar,
was dismissed on April 2012 by her employer, the group Salomon Ltd, a part of the Krater Media
Group. However, in Slovenia like in other European countries, work and
statutory immunity for a union official is guaranteed by law. The employer
found a way around it and dismissed her on the grounds of bullying and harassment
(mobbing) of the superiors from the Salomon Ltd media group.
Alma Sedlar, the employer has violated the law setting out that the union
official cannot be dismissed without the prior consent of the union committees
and criminal harassment being proved. However, yesterday a Court denied that
the principle of immunity can be applied in Ms Sedlar's case due to rules of
procedure. This means that from now on every union official in Slovenia will be
exposed to threat of employment contract termination if an employer invents a
story about the criminal offence, or merely plants false evidence hinting at
criminal offence, which is undoubtedly a threat to the due process to which to which trade union officials are entitled.
groups and media organisations have denounced the measure as an attempt to prevent a trade union leader
from encouraging other staff to raise
their voice against the employers and display their discontent with the
situation in the company.
"We think that the
situation in Slovenia has became extremely worrying for these rights: not only
is a journalist and union official now facing the survival crisis, but an
employer is trying to discredit her by all means and a Court put a general
principle on hold for reasons of procedures," said Mr König. "This clearly is a
breach of trade union principles and the beginning of a campaign of
intimidation against all trade union representatives, in the media sector or elsewhere."
The EFJ defends strong and
independent journalism, as well as trade union rights and decent working
conditions. It supports its affiliates, the Union of
Slovenian Journalists and the Slovenian Association of Journalists, who actively work for
the respect of professional rights. Therefore the EFJ calls for the respect of
trade union rights and for an immediate stop of the harassment against
journalists' trade union leaders who did nothing else than their job.
The EFJ is the European group of the
International Federation of Journalists
The EFJ represents over 260,000 journalists
in 30 countries
For more information contact the EFJ at +32 2 235.2200