'Ma'ariv' newspaper strikes for first time
Nov 07, 2012 (Globes - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Employees of Hebrew daily "Ma'ariv" and its online edition nrg walked off the job yesterday evening, in the first-ever strike in the newspaper's 64 years. The employees are on strike over what they call a breach of the collective agreement that new owner Shlomo Ben-Tzvi signed with them. Ben-Tzvi sought to hire just an additional 80 employees for a limited period, not the 350 employees he promised to hire in the collective agreement.
Today's "Ma'ariv" print edition was not published, and the top story on nrg today is "Strike at 'Ma'ariv'". There is no mention of the US election results or President Barack Obama's reelection.
The "Ma'ariv" workers committee asked to meet and draw up new terms for employees of the newspaper's business, sports, and weekend desks, as well as nrg, to be hired under the same prearranged terms. But Ben-Tzvi rejected the demand, saying that he would only hire the employees until the structure of each of the newspaper's desks was clarified.
A Ben-Tzvi aide said, "The employees actions are in breach of the agreement with us."
"Ma'ariv's" employees want to know how many of them will be hired and what the newspaper's structure will be. "The employees also demand that the collective agreement signed with them be honored, and that any deviation from it be taken in coordination and agreement with the workers committee," said the workers committee in a statement.
Today, the workers committee learned that Ben-Tzvi's representatives offered to hire employees at lower salaries than present, and demanded to renegotiate the job terms of any employee whose monthly salary cost exceeds NIS 22,500. Both demands are in breach of the collective agreement. The workers committee also learned that approaches were made to entire desks about temporary employment, outside the framework of the collective agreement. The employees said that these steps were taken without coordination with their representatives, and without transparency.
The Journalists Union said, "In the past 24 hours, we've discovered details which worry us about implementation of the signed collective agreement. The collective agreement that we fought for protects us as employees, and when we see this protection broken, we must fight for it at any price."
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