Strike alert!

JOURNALISTS at the Telegraph papers have voted by 120:25 for the principle of strike action over pay. Management have offered 3 per cent, but after two years of pay freeze the journalists are asking for 8 per cent.

Please watch for announcements of any action the Chapel decided to take.

Update 05/03/2004: The Telegraph staff won a collective agreement without resorting to strikes.

Meanwhile, more than 2000 journalists working for the Tageszeitung group in Germany began a strike on 29 January. Management has demanded:

  • a two-year freeze on salaries and fees;
  • a cut in the payments all journalists (including staff) receive to licence re-use of their work;
  • a reduction in paid holidays; and
  • lengthening the working week.
More (auf Deutsch, natürlich) at

Update 26/02/2004 from

Some 14,000 journalists in German newspapers can expect a 1.3 per cent increase in their salaries on 1 June 2004. The deal was reached after over 17-hour-long negotiations on Wednesday morning in Berlin. The federal association of German newspaper publishers (BDZV), the German journalists association (DJV) and the ver.di trade union also agreed on a cut in holiday pay from the current 100 to 80 per cent of the gross salary, as well as a decrease in the length of holidays. The agreement came only in the eighth round of the negotiations, which have thus earned the status of longest wage negotiations for journalists in decades. The ver.di trade union has already advised its members to accept the agreement, while the publishers also found it "acceptable".

And in France, journalists at Radio France resumed strike action on 27 January. There's a weblog of the joint action action by six unions at

As always, those on strike would much appreciate it if freelances asked to cover at or contribute to any of these titles found that they were unavailable.

Update 17/02/2004: the strike at Radio France ended today. Translating freely: "We needed forceps to get an agreement out of them. But we got one."
Last modified: 5 March 2004 - © 2004 contributors
The Freelance editor is elected by London Freelance Branch and responsibility for content lies solely with the editor of the time
Send comments to the editor: