IFJ Warns Over “Strikebreaking” Use of Global Networks as All-Out Stoppage Hits Greek Media

The International Federation of Journalists today called on its members in Britain, Germany and the United States to act over the use of major global radio networks Deutsche Welle, Voice of America and the BBC World Service to fill the broadcasting space on Greek radio caused by an all-out strike of journalists and media workers.

“Journalists and media staff in Greece are fighting for basic rights and decent working conditions,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “But now it looks like national managements are ready to compromise the image of international broadcasters to fill the space vacated by angry staff.”

The IFJ has asked the National Union of Journalists in Great Britain and Ireland, its German affiliates the Deutsche Journalisten Verband and Verd.i and the Newspaper Guild - CWA in the United States to take up complaints by Greek unions that the broadcasts of the BBC, Deutsche Welle and Voice of America are being used as “stop-gap fillers” to make up for missing local content.

“This use of material might give some listeners the impression that the BBC, Deutsche Welle and Voice of America are breaking the Greek strike deliberately,” said Aidan White. “This is obviously nonsense, but the managements need to know how their material is being used.”

The IFJ took up the case after a coalition of Greek unions, led by the Athens Union of Daily Newspapers (JUADN), which has been carrying out a series of national strikes in press, radio and television complained that the Greek Station SKAI – where the journalists and staff supported the strike 100 per cent – was using international network material to fill in for lost programming.

SKAI is owned by Alafouzos media group, which owns the major daily paper, Kathemerini and provides the supplement pages for the International Herald Tribune. Following a meeting of the JUADN executive board, a decision has been taken to extend the strike, for SKAI radio only, until Friday 16 July.

This is the second strike since 2 July and comes in response to the standstill in pay negotiations by the employers who have continued to push for a percentage increase that does not compensate for workers lost buying power.

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The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries