Kosovo: Zëri newspaper lays off 20 workers
Zëri Newspaper announced the dismissal of more than 20 workers, including three journalists and one editor, last week. The Association of Journalists of Kosovo (AJK) voiced concerns about the legality of the decision.
According to AJK, journalists were informed about the discontinuation of their employment via an email sent by the director of the media outlet, Shpend Dobranja. Dobranja stated that in the last couple of months Zëri Newspaper had faced financial difficulties due to the low revenues from advertisement and low newspaper sales. AJK requested an investigation from the Labour Inspectorate.
Gentiana Begolli Pustina, President of the Board of AJK, said: “This is a gross violation of workers’ rights and, to make things worse it coincided with COVID-19 pandemic. Knowing the already fragile environment in which journalists work, we have, for the third time, asked the Ministry of Finance and Transfers if journalists will be included in the Emergency Fiscal Package of Kosovo’s Government. We still have no response.”
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliate in Kosovo in requesting investigation to verify the legality of the procedure.