Today the European Federation of Journalists condemned the increasingly hostile behaviour of media employers in Greece where it claims media from both the print and the press sector are putting heavy pressures on their employees to accept “scandalous infringements of labour rights.”
Among the incidents that have enraged journalists are
• The daily newspaper APOFASI which stopped its activities and left unpaid for three months 50 journalists and 40 other media workers.
• The leading news radio station SKY which announced that it will cut 30 journalists' jobs by giving some extra bonus for those ones who will "voluntarily" choose to leave the company.
• Radio station FLASH, which is lingering between bankruptcy and 50 job cuts
• Another news radio station PLANET which has changed ownership, leaving journalists unpaid and unemployed.
• The national daily newspaper MAKEDONIA, based in Thessalonika, which has fired 10 journalists from the Athens bureau closing down the office.
In addition the EFJ claims other media groups often delay payment of journalists’ salaries by two and sometimes three months.
“Everyday we see newspapers or broadcasters firing journalists to cut back on expenses” said EFJ General Secretary Aidan White. “We may understand that there are economic and financial constraints, but we cannot accept that dozens of media workers are being asked to pay the price of what appears to be management incompetence and flagrant denial of workers’ rights to basic social rights such as wages and redundancy payments.”
On 20 September, the Pan-Hellenic Federation of Journalists’ Union opposed what it called “abusive and illegal employer plans” in the Greek media sector and their policy of “voluntary” resignations. It also called the government to fulfil its role of watchdog of social and industrial policies in the country.
“Journalists across Europe fully support their Greek colleagues in their battle for fair and transparent working conditions”, said Aidan White, “and we hope that the Greek authorities will realise how serious the situation is”.
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The EFJ represents over 250,000 journalists in more than 40 countries