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IFJ Supports Herald Journalists' Collective Right

IFJ Supports Journalists' Right To Bargain Collectively In NZ


See earlier reports on the Herald dispute on the website: http://www.pmw.c2o.org

SYDNEY (IFJ-Asia/Pacific Media Watch): The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, has today expressed its support for New Zealand journalists fighting for their right to bargain collectively.

On 3 October 2004, publisher APN, controlled by Irish millionaire Tony O'Reilly, will launch a new Sunday edition of the New Zealand Herald.

APN will only negotiate with journalists collectively on the paper's new Sunday edition if journalists hired from now on for both weekday and weekend Herald editions abandon 15 long standing workers' rights won during the Herald's 141-year history.

The 15 workers' rights targeted by the publisher include the removal of meal, transport and clothing allowances, double time and the 10 percent of extra pay for casuals.

"The IFJ is deeply concerned over APN's blatant attacks on workers' rights in New Zealand which are contrary to what is provided for by New Zealand law," said IFJ president Christopher Warren.

Sue Chetwin, editor of the New Zealand Herald, has hired all staff for the new Sunday edition on individual contacts and told journalists that collective coverage is unavailable.

According to IFJ affiliate in New Zealand, the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU), APN is acting illegally under the New Zealand Employment Relations Act by refusing to employ journalists for the Sunday edition on the terms of the existing Herald collective agreement.

Rick Neville, deputy chief executive of APN, New Zealand, has claimed the weekday and Sunday editions will be separate newspapers, while the EPMU claims that both newspapers will operate under the same masthead and journalists may be required to write for both editions.

The IFJ supports the weekday Herald journalists' decision to refuse to work on the Sunday edition until their Sunday edition colleagues are given the right to bargain collectively.

The IFJ is calling on APN to respect workers' rights and the right to bargain collectively. The IFJ calls on APN to hire the Sunday edition journalists on a collective agreement.

* The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries



PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

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