Ireland: Unions celebrate victory over competition authority

Irish freelance workers will be allowed the right to collective bargaining. On the evening of 31 May, the Irish Parliament adopted the Labour Party proposed Competition Amendment Bill 2016, which aims to introduce exemptions from competition law for certain self-employed workers. Since a competition ruling was handed down thirteen years ago, agreements  negotiated with  artists unions on minimum tariffs  have been considered as breaches of competition  law. To avoid the competition law a union has to prove either that its members are false independent workers (in a subordinate relationship, obliged to follow instructions,  do not share the same business risks…

New survey: who are the freelancers of Europe?

The number of independent workers is growing rapidly within the European labour market and behind what has become the standard label for self-employed professionals lies a wide range of different work scenarios. Who are the freelancers of Europe, how do they live and work in the different countries of the EU, what are their needs, expectations and how do they deal with the uncertain, precarious nature of freelance work? i-WIRE is the first Europe-wide survey of freelancers that will try to answer some of those questions. The EFJ encourages its affiliates and freelancers of Europe to fill out the questionnaire.…

Organising and collective bargaining focus for EFJ Freelance Expert Group

“In each company we need to first deal with the staff workers, and find out about their main challenges at work. We need to map the company, the sector and then also map the situation of staff , freelances, agency and all workers “, said Erkan Ersoy, Director of Organizing  in UNI SCORE (Strategic Campaigns, Organising, Research + Education) who was invited to the Freelance Expert Group meeting to discuss how to apply the UNI organising strategy at company level to freelance journalists. Other tips include: Choose the most ethical media company to start with; Map: find out about pay…

President Juncker joined trade union debate on future of Europe

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) welcomed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for a discussion on the future of Europe with trade union leaders from all EU countries. The discussion took place yesterday, in Brussels, during an extraordinary Executive Committee meeting of the ETUC. The European Federation of Journalists was represented by its General Secretary, Ricardo Gutiérrez. The ETUC believes a wide debate on the future of Europe is desperately needed due to the growing lack of trust in the EU caused by high unemployment and poverty, Brexit, terrorism, the failure to deal effectively with the refugee emergency, and growing…

Irish government must restore freelance rights for collective barganing

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), joining its affiliate in Ireland the National Union of Journalists, is welcoming the decision of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to challenge Ireland’s failure to treat freelance workers in accordance with the rights enshrined in the organisation’s convention. Following a complaint by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) the Irish government faces questions at the ILO assembly in Geneva about the treatment of freelance workers, who are denied the right to be collectively represented by unions as a result of the actions of the former Competition Authority in Ireland. The complaint was lodged…

Nordic Freelance Conference: The Significance of Independent Voices

The Norwegian Freelance Journalist Union (NJ Frilans) hosted the Nordic Freelance Seminar, which is held once a year,  in Ilsetra, Norway on 20-22 May. The over 100 participants were freelance journalists from EFJ affiliates in Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The aim of the seminar was  networking and sharing experience, discussing recent trends both regarding ever more precarious working conditions for freelances and new technological tools to advance storytelling and journalism by getting closer to the audience. Frank Aarebrot, professor of comparative politics at the University of Bergen in his opening speech adviced the community to demand public funding to…

Time Out Lisboa terminates contract with freelance journalist following payment claim

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has backed a case of a Portuguese freelance journalist whose contract with Time Out Lisboa was terminated because he stood up for his rights to claim payment for his work. The journalist who is also a member of the board at the Portuguese Union of Journalists (SJ) has been working for the last eight years as a freelance journalist Time Out Lisboa. However, the journalist was recently informed by the management of Time Out Lisboa that they will not continue working with him.  The journalist believed that the reason for the termination was due to…

Belarus fines freelance journalist for working with “foreign media”

Belarus continues its bad practice by handing over the first fine of the year on 13 January to freelance journalist, Larysa Shchyrakova, for working with “foreign media”.Following the ruling, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) have called for an immediate appeal of the ruling and urged the government to scrap the existing law. Shchyrakova, was fined 4 620 000 Belarusian rubles (around 225 EUR) by the Homiel District Court for breaking Article 22.9 of Belarusian Code on Administrative Offenses which forbids freelance journalists in the country from working with foreign media outlets. With…

Webinar on authors’ rights for freelance journalists in Europe

Join us for a webinar (web conference) on Feb 10, 2016 at 12:00 PM GMT. Register now! If freelance journalists provide input to newsrooms , the question is always: Can I re-use the post also elsewhere with other clients with a different target audience? The question of which rights are established with reference to a journalistic work/contribution is regulated by intellectual property right /copyright law. Therefore, knowledge of the correct use of authors’ rights/copyright not only at national level but worldwide is crucial for freelance writers. Freelance journalist Mike Holderness works in London and is a long time activist in…

Collective bargaining for all, Ljubljana, 17 – 18 March

In the framework of the two-year project “Rights and Jobs in Journalism”, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) together with its affiliate, the Slovene Association of Journalists, will organise a workshop “Collective bargaining and freelancers : collective bargaining for all” in Ljubljana, 17-18 March. This upcoming workshop will focus on the need to better protect freelance journalists through collective agreements. while the need of cooperation between freelances and employed journalists continues to grow, best practice from affiliates about common campaigns/activities between staff and freelances shall be show-cased. REGISTRATION Please submit your registration form online before 29 January 2016. Your participation will be confirmed by the…

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