Australia: Digital journalists claim their labour rights

The Fair Work Commission in Australia handed down a decision on November 20, announcing digital media workers must have access to the same rights as print media journalists. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) welcome the decision by the commission to uphold the rights of journalists to fair pay and working conditions.

The full bench of the Fair Work Commission, agreed with MEAA’s argument that digital workers should have full access to the Journalists Published Media Award, the award which covered print media. The previous award denied access to digital journalists, who  do the same job as print journalists, to access the same pay rates and working conditions. The decision is part of the four-yearly review of modern awards.

According to the MEAA, as a result of the decision, digital media journalists “will have access to minimum standards for their wages, penalty rates, overtime and other conditions of employment such as hours of work and breaks.”

MEAA said: ̌“In a landmark decision handed down yesterday and announced today, the full bench of the Fair Work Commission has agreed with MEAA’s argument that digital media workers should have full access to the Journalists Published Media Award, the benchmark award in the published media industry (covering news titles and magazines).

The decision removes an anomaly where digital journalists, doing the same job as print journalists, were denied access to the award.”

The IFJ said: “We welcome the long overdue modernisation of pay rates and working conditions for digital journalists in Australia. As  media consumptions methods change, it is imperative for laws, regulations and governments to adapt to protect the rights of all media workers.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on 
+61 2 9333 0918

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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