Framework Agreement between WAZ and EFJ/IFJ

Framework Agreement


Westdeutsche Algemeine Zeitung Mediengruppe (WAZ)


International Federation of Journalists/European Federation of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ)

On the defence and the promotion of press freedom, quality journalism and sound industrial relations in WAZ Mediengruppe operations


1.1 WAZ is the German-based publishing and media company with business operations in several countries in Europe. The EFJ represents trade unions of journalist that organise workers in the media industry of Europe.

1.2 WAZ and the IFJ/EFJ WAZ record their mutual interest in the developments and sustainability of media and publishing enterprise in Europe and worldwide, and in the development of high quality media and journalism as well as good human resources and relations practice.

1.3 WAZ and the IFJ/EFJ agree to give effect to their common interest, and accordingly enter into this agreement to:

- create an effective channel for an ongoing dialogue between them to protect and advance their mutual interests particularly in the supply of high quality, professional and ethical media and information services;

- affirm the principles and values of press freedom and agree to work together to oppose undue political influence that may interfere with the right to publish or the free exercise of journalism; 

- affirm also the value of internationally accepted labour relations and human resource practice; and 

- establish a procedure for the resolution of disagreements that may arise from time to time.

1.4 In pursuance of these objectives and of advancing the interests of all stakeholders

in the media industry, the parties seek to promote a media environment that is safe, humane and professional.


This agreement is intended to apply to operations, wherever situated, over which WAZ has direct managerial control. The parties agree that no additional processes or rights other than those specified in this agreement will be imposed upon this agreement and that this agreement does not prejudice or replace any existing or future arrangements between the company and its employees nor does it override national labour law or national collective agreements.


The parties respect the following principles and values:

• the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, gender, language, national extraction, social origin, political opinion or religion ;

• the rights of free expression with due regard to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights;

• Freedom of association with due regard to the principles underlying ILO Convention 87;

• The determination of the terms and conditions of employment through appropriate mechanisms, with due regard to the principles underlying ILO Convention 98;

• The principles set out in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

• The provision of a safe and healthy working environment for media staff by the application of industry best practice;

• The promotion of good relationships with civil society and a positive an meaningful inclusive engagement with the community at large on the work of media;

• Those principles and values referred to in the UN General Secretary’s initiative, the Global Compact.


4.1 Review and Application

The parties agree to meet as often as is necessary, but at least annually, to review past practice and to preview future plans relevant to their interests, and to discuss the terms of this agreement.

The annual meeting shall consist of a group forum in which union representatives from each national unit and local management shall meet with IFJ/EFJ and company representatives to share information and to discuss issues of common concern.

A sub-committee will be established to consider the structure and content of the group forum discussions. This sub-committee shall also discuss plans and proposals placed before it by either party following any alleged breach of accepted standards of conduct that could not be resolved at the level of local and national operation.

4.2 Information Sharing and Training

The parties agree to distribute copies of this agreement throughout their organisations to each appropriate level and area, and to advise the parties of their rights and duties under this agreement.


5.1 The General Secretary of the IFJ/EFJ or a designated nominee and the Chief Executive Officer of WAZ or a designated nominee is responsible for the administration of the agreement.

5.2 The agreement will come into effect once signed and remains in force unless otherwise agreed or amended, or terminated by either party giving three calendar month’s notice, in writing, to the other.


On Behalf of WAZ Mediengruppe: Bodo Hombach

On Behalf of IFJ/EFJ: Aidan White

Date: 4 July 2007

Place: Essen