EFJ Says Romanian Media Crisis No Basis for Attack on Labour Rights

The journalists of Romania must not be made scapegoats for the country's media crisis, says the European Federation of Journalists following demands by employers to revise their collective agreement with the Romanian Journalists Federation (FRJ) MediaSind.

"The current media crisis has its roots in the irresponsible greed of owners who have put profit before policies that can deal with difficult conditions," said Aidan White, EFJ General Secretary. "Journalists and media workers must not be forced to sacrifice their labour rights or be made the scapegoats for the crisis."

The EFJ is backing its affiliate MediaSind in opposing attempts to recast the collective agreement and to abandon social protections that have been promised for journalists and media staff.

On Thursday the Romanian Press Employers and the Press Employers Organisation of Romania ROMEDIA called for a re-negotiation of the Unified Collective Labour Agreement in the Media, arguing that the crisis justifies a revision of working conditions. 

Media employers' also attacked FRJ MediaSind for taking their complaints over abuse of workers' rights to the Romanian Labour Inspection Authority, which has reinforced their demands that the agreement and national labour law should be respected.

"It is outrageous that a union can be accused of harassment by employers for merely defending the rights of its members," said White. "This crisis will only be solved by negotiations between the two sides in an atmosphere of co-operation and sound industrial relations." 

The EFJ says those employers challenging the current collective agreement must search for global and innovative solutions rather than to simply undermine social standards and professional rights of journalists. 

"Across Europe media are in trouble and unions and managements need to sit together to work out strategies which will provide workable solutions without confrontation," said White.

In Romania FRJ MediaSind has joined a Media Anti-Crisis Committee including unions, some employers and academics and which is promoting wider reflection and dialogue about the changes that threaten to overwhelm the media sector. 

For more information contact the EFJ at   +32 2 235 2215 
The EFJ represents over 250,000 journalists in over 30 European countries