International Federation of Journalists affiliates from all over the world have backed colleagues from the Journalists’ Union of Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN) who began a 24-hour general strike at 6pm today.
Unions from South Africa, Australia and the US today sent solidarity messages to Greek colleagues, who are fighting to protect a Fund – Unified Journalistic Organisation of Subsidiary Social Insurance and Health Care (EDOEAP) – which for over 50 years has provided social security and welfare payments for journalists and media workers in Greece.
“We the workers in news information are going on strike demanding a new ‘Charter’ for the Press and a new social contract for those serving news information. We do not seek special privileges; we demand fundamental ‘civil’ rights for subsidiary social insurance and medical care,” JUADN leadership said in an open letter.
“Media workers publicly warn media employers as well as the government that the time of not paying is over and that it’s time to find a viable solution for EDOEAP Fund.“
Strikers are calling on the government to ensure a settlement according to alternative proposals put forward by JUADN, based on decent salaries and pensions.
Last year, JUADN and the other IFJ affiliates in Greece warned that the closure of the EDOEAP Fund would have devastating consequences for journalists, including 18,500 workers and their families who would be left with no medical care, no doctor, no medicine and no hospital care. The unemployed would lose their welfare assistance and medical care while pensioners would be deprived of hospital and medical care as well as supplementary pensions.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “This is a crucial fight for the fundamental right to decent work and dignity and the IFJ stands in solidarity with our Greek colleagues fighting to ensure their health and welfare is protected during their career and in retirement. If the government do not listen to the reasonable alternative put forward by the union we will continue to mobilise solidarity across the world”.
Picture credit: Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP.