Croatia: New forms of solidarity of the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomed the Trade Union of Croatian Journalist (TUCJ)’s initiative to restart negotiations on a branch collective agreement in the media.
“A journalist who is not afraid of losing his job can be a truly free journalist,” quotes a press release from the TUCJ.
The TUCJ is working on the creation of public media policies to improve social dialogue, media regulation and implement stronger collective agreements, the main goal of the union. It aims to bring together all trade unions in the media sector and has gathered a team of representatives of the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (SNH), the Trade Union of Education and Media, and the Trade Union of Graphic and Media Workers with whom they agree on the next actions to take. They are also working in cooperation with the Croatian Journalist Association (CJA) to strengthen the fight for better working conditions, and on the creation of public media policies and the importance of collective agreements in the media: both the TUCJ and the SNH visit local newsroom and local community through union representatives, to talk about the importance of unionised work and strengthen the capacity for collective bargaining in local media.
The journalists’ union works in close cooperation with other journalistic organisations, under the name LAREG+.
LAREG+’s objective is to strengthen the independence and freedom of local media as a source of information for citizens in local areas. In case of strikes from media organisations and outlets, support is given whenever possible. The project also includes research and data collection: once the union collected this data, at the moment about atypical workers. The data will be used to develop recommendations for media policies and legislation and to strengthen collective agreements’ negotiations. New forms of communications such as videos and podcasts are used to spread awareness on the importance of unions and trade union organising. The “Trade Union Kitchen” video podcast was launched to have those discussions in a form accessible for most. In addition, the TUCJ cooperates with the Organization for Workers’ Initiative and Democratization, young activists, sociologists, and scientists whose field work with unions and research and scientific work is recognised throughout the region.
“Solidarity and working together to protect independent journalism is a mission in times when journalism is one of the pillars of democracy’s defence. Protecting and strengthening the labour rights of journalists through collective agreements is a prerequisite for their free work,” says Maja Sever, President of TUCJ and the EFJ.
The work done by the union has been intensified with the help of the Union Recovery EFJ project.