The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) have backed their Greek affiliates, standing with 420 MEGA TV station journalists and media workers left with no pay and no jobs for over 16 months.
MEGA is one of the first private TV stations established in Greece, 28 years ago, and has attracted large audiences for practicing reliable and quality journalism in news bulletins and news programs and producing very popular series.
During the past months, the station was broadcasting only entertainment content, bringing in a lot of advertising money. However the journalists were left with no pay.
The situation got worse on 10 January, since major MEGA shareholders decided not to participate in the public auction for 7 TV licenses. Since broadcasting is prohibited by stations without a TV license, MEGA will close down and the journalists will lose money as well as their labour rights and benefits, denounced the IFJ/EFJ affiliates JUADN and ESPIT.
In addition, the broadcaster’s media, unpaid for 16 months, reached the limits of their personal endurance trying to prevent the station’s ‘closure’ and definite decline.
During this period, journalists and media workers, along with their unions JUADN and ESPIT, have backed all efforts in support of the station and intervened with the National Broadcasting Council (ESR) and the banks, so that MEGA will resume broadcasting full content –both news and entertainment – to save jobs and secure labour rights and benefits.
IFJ President Philippe Leruth said, “We call on MEGA’s shareholders to consider the responsibility they have towards media workers and to reconsider their decision of leaving 420 hardworking colleagues unemployed, whose work during the past 28 years has contributed to the station’s popularity with the Greek audiences and whose families fate hanging in the balance. We call on the authorities to fully respect our colleagues’ working conditions in such difficult times.”