The webinar, with members of the journalists' union SINOS, was organised under the Union Recruitment and Organising 2021 project funded by Union to Union.
Thirteen Executive and board members actively participated in the meeting in addition to a young student journalist. Participants discussed their common experiences of the lack of teleworking regulations for media workers in Serbia; journalists having to work longer hours with no increase in their wages; several employers using the pandemic as an excuse to fire employees with no compensation; many journalists having to work in different media outlets in order to meet their basic needs; employees being refused the right to take their holidays in 2020 among other concerns.
The negative impact of the pandemic on the working conditions has shown that the solidarity among media workers is the key element to ameliorate their situation. Participants agreed that in order to build a stronger union a series of key issues need to be addressed throughout this project including how to encourage journalists to join the union, how to attract young journalists to take part in the union, how to identify key workplace issues in order to elaborate effective campaigns and how SINOS can better communicate with its members.
In the coming weeks SINOS will closely work with the IFJ to elaborate a strategic plan to increase the union's membership and attract digital and young journalists.