Study recommends EU action to protect atypical workers

A recent study explored ‘Temporary contracts, precarious employment, employees’ fundamental rights and EU employment law‘, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Petitions. The findings have implications for journalists, as atypical and precarious employment has been tied to media industries and digitisation. The study emphasises that precarious employment is a fundamental rights issue of enormous weight and significance within the EU’s normative order. Some groups, such as women and younger workers, are more affected by precarious employment. Self-employment, which affects many freelancers and journalists, is discussed in…

Slovenia to reform labour laws enforcing contractual obligations

The Slovenian government has recently introduced two draft labour laws on employment and labour inspection. The main changes concern giving the labour inspectors more authority to act, especially when the employer fails to pay the salary of employees, accelerate the process whereby the unemployed take up employment again and make employment contract termination more flexible. “Precarious conditions are becoming more and more common, not just in Slovenia, but also in Europe,” said Anja Kopač Mrak, the Slovenian minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities at the voting session of the draft labour laws at the beginning of this…

South East Europe and Turkey journalists join European Labour Rights Experts group

Journalists and media workers from South East Europe and Turkey are able to share best practices, illuminate present challenges in labour rights and benefit from legal expertise after joining European Labour Rights Experts Group. “If journalists’ working conditions are poor, how can media be the driver for sustainable and peaceful development in the region? By promoting these exchanges, UNESCO and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) aim for a collective upgrade of media professionals’ rights, for the benefit of publics and democracy,” commented Mehmet Koksal, project officer from EFJ. Under the EU-funded project “Building Trust in media in South East…

European trade unions call for stronger protection of workers in digital economy

European trade unionists and the European Commission have called for a new start for strong social dialogue following in a conference with multi-stakeholders on ”Shaping the new world of work” held by the European Trade Union Institution (ETUI) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) in Brussels. The conference was kicked off by a panel of high-level speakers from European and international institutions, including Marianne Thyssen, EU Employment Commissioner, Jeffrey Franks, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Europe Office Director, Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Mark Keese, head of the OECD’s employment, analysis and policy division, Thomas Handel,…

UK government to roll out anti-trade union laws

The UK government is planning to introduce anti-trade union laws that will restrict strikes and hamper the basic human rights of workers, says the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), an EFJ affliate in the UK. According to the NUJ, the proposed bill aimed at curtailing trade union activity would impose a minimum 50% turnout in strike ballots, with public sector unions requiring at least 40% of those eligible to vote. Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said: “Forget the language of fairness and rights being peddled by the Tories – this is the most cynical of attacks designed to finish what…

EFJ webinar on social security for freelance journalists in Europe

Join us for a webinar on April 21, 2015 at 12:00 AM CEST. Register now:! https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1619804193653421057 The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its Freelance Expert Group (FREG) in cooperation with the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) are organising another webinar, this time on social security for freelance journalists in Europe, a theme ever more important in times of increasing flexibility and decreasing social security. Ivan Declercq, freelance advisor of the Flemish journalist association (VVJ) will give some examples from European countries including Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Norway. The special system in Germany of the so-called Künstlersozialkasse (KSK) (artists’ social insurance)…

Why do they leave journalism?

“Why do they leave journalism?” – This is the question asked to 38 former journalists by journalism student Hélène Brédart in a project initiated at the Université de Liège and reproduced by Jean-François Dumont of the Belgian Association of Professional Journalists (AJP, member of EFJ). The results of the project published in the latest edition of the monthly Journalistes by the AJP show that the deteriorating working conditions and practices in journalism make are major reason why journalists left the profession. The most frequently mentioned reasons for journalists to leave their job are: • Increasing workload: The digital development and restructuring measures are putting…

mappingFCinEurope

London: the world capital of foreign correspondents

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has attended at the Brussels Press Club,  the launch of a new book Mapping Foreign Correspondence in Europe showing that London is the world capital of foreign correspondents. The editor of the book Georgios Terzis has conducted a pan-european research for almost two years and gathered data about the 6.600 registered journalists working as correspondents in 27 countries (this first edition does not include information for Poland and Italy). According to the data disclosed, the country that has the highest number of foreign correspondents working there is the United Kingdom (1.700), following by France (945), Belgium…

Deteriorating working conditions undermine press freedom, says study

Deteriorating working conditions of journalists put press freedom in danger, according to a study published by the University of Fribourg and the Federal Office of Communications in Switzerland. The study participated by 1000 journalists who are members of the affiliate of the European Federation of Journalists, impressum, proves that the deteriorating working conditions have a negative impact on press freedom and quality of journalism. The results suggest that economic pressure from advertisers and the media owners are jeopardising the editorial freedom of media. Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ General Secretary said: “The conclusions are clear: we fought hard to ensure that press…

FT interns win fight over internship pay

Interns working for the British newspaper Financial Times will now receive payment for their work following a successful negotiation by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK. The deal brokered by the NUJ is part of the overall pay settlement of an above-inflation rise for all FT staff from April. Unpaid internship remains a common practice in the UK particularly in the journalism industry. According to a report published by the National Council for the Training of Journalists in 2013, 82% of graduate entering into the profession have done an internship, of which 92% of them were unpaid.…

EFJ delegation meets Commissioner Thyssen

Bogus self-employment contradicts EU labour standards, says Commissioner Thyssen

Marianne Thyssen, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility told a delegation of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on 30 January that the European Commission is taking action to better prevent and deter undeclared work and bogus self-employment which contradicts EU labour standards. The EFJ raised concerns over the complete deregulation of economic and social labour relations in journalism leading to a new precarious workforce who cannot earn a living from journalism. To give concrete examples of the situation, the EFJ delegation gave copies of  recent EFJ reports on Confronting Austerity : Financial and Employment Models…

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