European Federation of Journalists

Greek journalists on strike over social security

The Athens Journalists’ Union (ESIEA) called on a 48-hour strike in all Greek media on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 October to protest against the impact of cutbacks on the health care and social security organisation (EDOEAP) as well as recent job cuts across the sector. In addition, four women have been on hunger strike for more than ten days. The EFJ expresses its support to its Greek affiliate and all the journalists currently on strike.

Greek journalists have been in turmoil for many months following the government’s and mass media owners’ new policy which caused the collapse of EDOEAP. In September 2016, the Greek government abolished the ‘Aggeliosimo’, the advertising fee meant to cover the employers’ and State’s contribution to the EDOEAP. As a result, the health care and social security organisation was not able to pay the subsidiary monthly allowances in October to retired journalists, and payments regarding healthcare of all journalists (who are unions’ members) are about to stop.

“This is humiliating and unfair for hard working people, it is against human rights and European principles for equal access to healthcare and social benefits,” said the Athens Journalists’ Union in a statement.

The negotiations have been going on for more than a year now with media workers asking both the Greek government and employers to agree on a system that would sufficiently fund EDOEAP. Despite several promises by the goverment that they are ready to legislate for such a system to be established, they haven’t done so yet. The EFJ calls on the Greek government to quickly find a solution to ensure a settlement based on decent salaries and pensions.