EFJ’s Labour Rights Expert Group to launch a charter on journalists’ working conditions

Members of the Labour Rights Experts Group (LAREG) of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) convened in Brussels on 31 October 2018 to discuss the latest improvement and deterioration of labour conditions for journalists and media workers in Europe. Journalists’ unions and professional associations of Germany, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia were represented. For the third year, the enlargement of the existing LAREG to participants from the Balkans and Turkey transformed the EFJ’s expert group into LAREG+, bringing together twice a year representatives from both sides of Europe. The pairing is possible thanks to the EU-UNESCO-funded project…

German journalists strike after fifth negotiation round ends without agreement

Newspaper journalists went on strike all over Germany on 28 May 2018 after the fifth round of negotiations for a collective agreement between publishers and two German journalist unions, the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) and Deutsche Journalisten Union (dju in ver.di), in Berlin ended without a result. For the last few months, the DJV and dju in ver.di, the German affiliates of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), have been in negotiations with the Federal Association of German Newspaper Publishers (BDZV) to improve the working conditions for around 13,000 editors at daily newspapers. The negotiations were accompanied by numerous warning strikes…

Young journalists in Germany demand better pay for better journalism

A delegation of about 20 young German journalists together with the Deutscher Journalisten-Verband (DJV) and Deutsche Journalisten Union (dju in ver.di) met with publishers to demand better working conditions on 25 April 2018 in Berlin. They insisted that publishers have to invest in the future generation of journalists or the “generation Erasmus” will leave and with them the young topics that attract young readers. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly supports the demands for investing in young journalists. This happened in the context of very difficult negotiations between the unions, DJV and dju in ver.di and the publishers association…

Norwegian Union of Journalists signs freelance framework agreement

The Norwegian Media Businesses’ Association (MBL) signed an unprecedented  framework agreement for freelance journalists with the Norwegian affiliate of the European Federation of Journalists, the Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ), concerning purchase, sale and copyrights of freelance materials on Wednesday, 21 March 2018.  The NJ had been in negotiations with the MBL to establish this framework agreement since April 2016. The purpose of the agreement is to ensure predictable frameworks for freelance jobs. The framework agreement will take effect on 1 April 2018. It requires an individual agreement to be concluded between the freelancer and the employer. The NJ and the MBL will prepare templates for  agreements which…

EFJ Workshop: Digital journalism and new business models

36 journalists, union leaders and media experts from 20 European countries discussed issues around new business models and trends in (digital) journalism from 15-16 March 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany. With great enthusiasm participants explored recent trends in journalism,  successful new models in financing journalism and the role of unions and associations to best service their members in this process of change. The first panel “What is trending in journalism” included academics, publishers and an editor in chief from a local newspaper, all giving interesting insights in changes in the media eco-system,  its impact on the work of journalists, use of…

EU directive on transparent and predictable working conditions

Responding today to the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions, Esther Lynch, ETUC Confederal Secretary, welcomed some important improvements, although this reform is not the game-changer unions needed or expected. “Many of the provisions in this new measure, replacing the Written Statement Directive, represent a significant improvement. For example, all workers will be entitled to a written statement from the first day of employment. This means seasonal agriculture, domestic, on-demand, intermittent, voucher-based and platform workers will be effectively covered. And the Directive goes further in proposing very helpful provisions to ensure that online platforms…

openMedia: exposing commercial influence on news media

The recently launched openMedia project aims to investigate and expose commercial interference in editorial decisions. The project is run by openDemocracy with the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) as a partner alongside the Index on Censorship and King’s College London. The project believes that there has not been enough of a concerted, ongoing spotlight on the extent and effects of commercial influence over the media, despite the dangerous consequences it poses for press freedom. For now, the project focuses on 47 countries across Europe but also has ambitions to expand. Despite the recent launch, the project is adamant that it…

European Court: holiday pay for freelancers and bogus self-employed

On 29 November 2017, the European Court of Justice ruled in favour of paid annual leave for self-employed and bogus self-employed workers. Now, anyone who has been bogus self-employed can demand additional payment for annual leave. Article 7 of Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and Council of 4 November, 2003, provides 4 weeks of paid annual leave for every worker, and the European Court has said that this must not be thwarted by employers. The case came to the European Court after a British case in which Mr King, retiring after 13 years of employment, sought to recover payment…

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…

Incentivising media rights and plurality by supporting good practices in Western Balkans and Turkey

“How to improve the precarious state of journalism in South East Europe and Turkey” was the topic of a press conference held by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on 14th November 2017 at the Press Club Brussels. The press conference took place in the framework of the EFJ project, Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey – a project supported financially by UNESCO and the European Union. Andris Kesteris, principal advisor at DG for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR) at the European Commission and Tarja Turtia, UNESCO Programme Specialist, attended the event to hear representatives of…

EFJ’s reaction to President Juncker’s State of the Union Speech

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, has made his State of the Union speech outlining his vision for the future of Europe. Commenting on the State of the Union speech, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes his commitment to address the social dimension of the digital single market in particular in the area of social and workers’ rights. In his speech, President Juncker said: “In a Union of equals, there can be no second class workers. Workers should earn the same pay for the same work in the same place.” Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ General Secretary said: “We welcome…

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