EFJ Condemns Sacking of Journalist Union Leader in Ukraine

The European Federation of Journalists today condemned the sacking of a leader of its member organisation in Ukraine because of his trade union activities.

 

Sergey Goos, Vice President and leading activist in Ukraine’s Independent Media Trade Union (IMTU), was sacked from his job at the Ukrainian Tyzhden, a Kiev-based investigative magazine after leading negotiations for a collective agreement to regulate salary and editorial rights.

 

“Sergey Goos is a committed trade unionist who has dedicated many years to building the journalists’ union and defending the rights of Ukraine journalists,” said Arne Konig, President of the European Federation of Journalists. “It is a scandal that he is sacked for attempting to improve the working conditions of his colleagues.”

 

In January a number of journalists left following the dismissal of the editor-in-chief over disputes about increased interference in the editorial line of the magazine. The management later agreed to negotiate a collective agreement with the staff to regulate editorial rights and responsibilities in order to avoid future conflict.

 

The negotiations began early April with an exchange of draft proposals and an agreement on procedure. However, within a week Sergey Goos, who was selected to lead the negotiations, was sacked for union activities. Staff were subsequently warned that the magazine would close if they challenged his dismissal.

 

Goos was also a leading figure in the IMTU fight against government censorship during the 2005 Presidential campaign where he helped organise strikes by protsest and strikes until media were allowed to report freely on demonstrations in Kiev.

 

“We demand that the employer, who is in clear breach of the Ukraine law, immediately reinstates Goos and reopens proper negotiations with staff on their rights and conditions,” added Konig.

 

The EFJ is asking for protest to be emailed to Roman Tsuprik, Head of the Ukrainian Weekly magazine on office@ut.net.ua. Messages of solidarity for the staff at the magazine are also welcome. Contact details are available from the EFJ.

 

For further information contact IFJ on                 +32 2 235 2207         
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries worldwide