EFJ Condemns "Rogue" Romanian Media Company

The

European Federation of Journalists today condemned a

"rogue" media management in Romania over anti-union

policies and victimisation of journalists which have undermined efforts to

create a new culture of industrial relations in Romanian media. The EFJ says

the actions of the Adevarul media group in failing to meet

its legal responsibilities over workers rights is a shameful betrayal of

efforts to improve social dialogue and co-operation between unions and

media in Romania.

"We firmly

condemn the actions of this company which reflect an anti-union

culture that prevails in much of Romanian media," said EFJ General

Secretary Aidan White. "It is absolutely reprehensible to act against

journalists and other workers when they ask for no more than their basic

rights under labour law. The EFJ says that media managements must open the door

to social dialogue and build a new culture based upon respect for the rights of

all media staff.

The dispute

arose when the EFJ affiliate in Romania,

the Romanian Journalists Federation (FRJ) MediaSind, asked the Adevarul Press Trust management to

observe national and international labour legislation in force in the

country, as well as the existing collective labour agreement.

After MediaSind complained to the country's Labour Inspection

Authority, the Authority discovered that the

company ignores provisions of the collective labour agreement.

At the same time the Parity Commission in the News Media (composed

of MediaSind, the Romanian Press Employers' Association ROMEDIA and the

National Union of Romanian Employers) revealed that Adevarul is

in breach of the country's labour laws. The Commission called on the

company to abide by the law.

In

response, Adevarul unilaterally

terminated copyright agreements covering six journalists in

membership of the union and then fired.  The company's managing

director Razvan Corneteanu then launched public attacks

on the unions and the employers'

organisations. MediaSind allege that some Adevarul managers also attacked trade union

members employed in other media houses, including

the AGERPRES National News Agency.

"Some

managements are opening themselves up to a new era of industrial

relations," said White. "But some are still stuck in the past and are

unable to adapt to the changing media scene, when co-operation and mutual

respect in the workplace are vital to finding ways to resolve the media

crisis."

The

EFJ says it will support FRJ MediaSind, which plans to file

an official complaint against Adevarul Press Trust at the National

Council for Discrimination, the Labour Inspection Authority and the Parity

Commission in the News Media. 

"In

the end the best solution would be to resolve these problems through

face-to-face negotiations that respect labour rights," said White,

"But the company appears unwilling to take this step."

For more information contact the EFJ

at   +32 2 235 2215
The EFJ represents over 250,000

journalists in over 30 European countries