The International Federation of Journalists and its regional group the European Federation of Journalists today backed an all-out strike by Slovenian journalists, which they said was caused by the “uncompromising hostility” of employers who have refused to negotiate the renewal of a national collective agreement.
The strike began at the weekend after employers denied the validity of the present union agreement, claiming they withdrew from the agreement in 1998. Their intransigence had forced the Slovene Journalists’ Union, representing editorial staff in both private and public media across the newspaper and broadcasting industry, to call a strike at a time when national parliamentary elections are taking place.
“It is a scandal that journalists are being forced to strike at such a crucial time simply because of the uncompromising hostility of employers,” said Arne König, EFJ Chairman. “This stubborn refusal by employers shows a flagrant disregard for workers’ rights and for the public right to information at election time.”
To try to avoid the strike, the union dropped all their demands except the request to start negotiating a renewal of the agreement, but the Chamber of Commerce representing the employers, refused leaving no alternative but for the stoppage to go ahead.
“Slovene journalists do not want to strike. We know the public is entitled to information, but we have been forced out to defend our basic social status”, said the Strike Committee of the Slovene Trade Union of Journalists in a statement issued today.
The strike takes place just a week after the EFJ affiliate, Comedia called on all journalists and media workers in Switzerland to join nationwide actions for the immediate renewal of their own national agreement.
“There is a dangerous pattern of employer hostility in the region that must be opposed,” said Arne König. He said the EFJ is calling on all its member unions to support the Slovenian journalists’ actions to defend established agreements and to improve their working conditions and legal protection.
Send messages of support to: Ljuba Babic Kosir, General Secretary of the Union of Slovenian Journalists – Email: email@example.com and/or Fax: 003861-4260366
For more information please contact: +32 2 235 2215
The EFJ represents over 200,000 journalists in more than 40 countries