European Federation of Journalists Calls on Italian Parliament to Condemn Layoffs at Italian TV La7

The European Federation of Journalists

(EFJ), the European group of the International Federation of Journalists, today

expressed its solidarity with staff and unions of Italian TV Channel La7 who

are facing an unprecedented wave of lay-offs. The EFJ called on Italian lawmakers

to condemn the cutbacks which will affect more than a quarter of the


"We urge the Italian Parliament,

which  on Wednesday will discuss Italian labour law and the

precarious state of journalistic work, to focus attention on La

7  where the massive lay offs  pose a serious threat

to media pluralism and quality in Italy," said EFJ President Arne

König. "This network, which is Italy's third largest, is the

only private alternative at national level to Mediaset owned by Prime

Minister Berlusconi and the public broadcaster RAI, which is

still highly politicised."

In September, the owner of La7, Telecom

Italia Media, announced its intention to fire 25 journalists of its

88-person news department staff. It is the first time in Italy that a

national broadcaster would dismiss such a number of fully employed

journalists at a single stroke.

For this reason several members

from both the parliamentary majority and the

opposition have asked to put the issue on the agenda of the Italian Chamber of

Members of the Italian Parliament, and to discuss the serious attacks on labour

law within the group Telecom Italia in connection with a possible reform of

precarious work and labour law 223 of 1991.

They also formally asked the Labour

Minister Maurizio Sacconi to give the official position of Mr

Berlusconi's Government on the issue.   

La7 (known as "The Seven") is owned by the

former national telecom operator, Telecom Italia, and has been considered the

most impartial and independent channel in the highly politicised landscape of

Italian television.

The EFJ in cooperation with its Italian affiliate, the Federation

of Italian Journalists (Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana), is urging

Parliament to consider also the alarming increase of precarious work in Italian

journalism. This, they say, is having a serious impact in the quality and

credibility of journalism. Alongside this concern is also the urgent need for a

new collective agreement for journalists.

 For more

information contact the EFJ at +32 2 235 2200/02

The EFJ represents over 260,000 journalists in

more than 30 countries