Journalists’ strike ends prematurely

Journalists’ strike ends prematurely

Athens, April 27, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

To the early termination of the strike of journalists proceeded POESY and ESHEA.

Thus, the protests of journalists for social security ended at 17:00 of the Holy Tuesday afternoon, instead of at 06:00 am on Great Wednesday.

Information indicates that there was disagreement on the Board of POESY after the meeting earlier, with Labour minister, Giorgos Katrougalos, for the rescue of the “aggeliosimo” and EDOEAP.

The trade unions of journalists are contemplating new forms of mobilization

The strike had started on April 21, with repeated 48-hour strikes. Although participation was heavy in newspapers and broadcast media, reporting did not stop for a minute from the internet, informing the public on the developments.

In most online media, journalists who work are usually employees in TV stations, radios and newspapers, usually under another name.

Main demand of journalists is not to abolish the “aggeliosimo” and for journalists’ social security fund to remain independent, through its funding by the burden of advertisers in print and electronic media.

So what is the “aggeliosimo”?

According to the law, it is a charge which is imposed on the price of the ads posted in the press or are broadcasted in radio and television stations.

The aggeliosimo has its roots in the dictatorship of Metaxas in the distant 1938, when the Lottery of Journalists was established, the resources of which were financing the journalist associations and as an extension the  private security funds of editors.

During the occupation in WWII was established the aggeliosimo so that its resources be directed to the journalists’ Unemployment Fund. The measure was in force throughout the duration of the occupation and after the war was the resource of the social security fund of administrative staff of newspapers. The Associations of Journalists “lost” the revenue from the aggeliosimo, but retained the ones from the Lottery of Journalists.

During the junta, in 1967, it was decided to abolish the Lottery of Journalists, resulting in journalists insurance funds being left without resources. The junta ‘nationalized’ the private social security funds of journalists and created EDOEAP (for assistance and care) and appointed as resource funds part of the revenue from the aggeliosimo, which over time has expanded from newspapers and magazines to radio and television.

Since then, employers do not pay contributions for the insurance and care for journalists employees, as this is covered by the aggeliosimo, through revenues from advertising directed at security funds. They do pay however, normally contributions for pension and unemployment fund.

With the insurance bill and the repealing of the aggeliosimo, practically the employer will have to bear the increased contributions for pension, unemployment, assistance and care, thus raising the cost of each employee by about 10%. This means that it becomes employee work more expensive and opens the window for wage cuts and layoffs in the media.

But with the new social security, the employees themselves will also have charges, but they can not have their own social security fund, which is being left without resources, while those working in parallel as employees and employees will be required to pay double contributions.