Lusa and TVI workers have called plenary sessions for Wednesday to discuss demands for wage increases and proposals from the respective administrations and discuss new forms of struggle.
On February 9, workers at TVI, a Media Capital channel, had approved a 24-hour strike notice in plenary, for March 8, in which they demand a minimum wage increase of 8% for all.
At the time, Rolando Santos, from the Workers’ Commission (CT) of TVI, had said that 8% was the “minimum acceptable, because it covers the inflation rate”, referring to “the company’s history” which “is very bad, with many years without any type of raise” which led to a “very sharp salary degradation”.
Among the other demands is the “update of the food subsidy to the maximum legally allowed”, the “granting of 25 days of annual leave and other issues that have to do with the career plan”, he highlighted, referring, at the time, that the CT will only withdraw if this claim booklet is 100% approved.
A day later, the President of the Republic warned that only with a “strong media” can a “strong democracy” be guaranteed, when commenting on the strike announcement on TVI and the “very difficult” phase that journalism is going through.
“I’ve been saying for years that the media is going through a very difficult social and economic phase, of great precariousness, and for a strong democracy, a strong media is needed. If the media is not strong, democracy is not strong”, underlined Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, on 10 February.
Lusa workers have also scheduled a plenary for the same day – March 1st – on the list of demands for 2023, approved by Lusa workers on November 3rd, which includes a minimum increase of 120 euros in wages, the update of the daily meal allowance, paid by card, for the maximum non-taxable amount, as well as the creation of a parental allowance of 100 euros for each child, to be paid together with the remuneration for the month following the return from parental leave, between others.
“More than two months after the delivery of the claim book approved in plenary, the representative unions of Lusa workers were yesterday [22 de Fevereiro] surprised by a counter-proposal that they consider unworthy”, referred the union structures that represent the workers of the news agency in a communiqué sent on 23 February.
More specifically, “an increase of 35 euros in the monthly base salary is proposed, the same amount that Lusa’s management had already budgeted for this year, before the start of negotiations”, point out the signatories of the statement – Union of Journalists (SJ), Union of Workers of the Transforming Industries, Energy and Environmental Activities of the Center-South and Autonomous Regions (SITE CSRA) and the Union of Workers of the Services Sector (SITESE).
Now, “the time that the unions gave to Lusa’s management in this process was in ‘good faith’ so that an adequate counter-proposal for salary updates was presented that would allow for effective negotiations, which unfortunately did not happen”.
In view of this, the unions have called a plenary session for Wednesday “to present the counter-proposal in detail and hear the workers about it and the steps to follow, including possible forms of struggle”, and they will also ask for urgent meetings with the Culture departments. and Finance.
However, in a statement released on Monday, the Lusa Workers’ Commission also considers the administration’s proposal “unworthy”.
In other words, “proposing to the workers what was already foreseen and budgeted before any negotiation process is a provocative act, offensive and disrespectful of the spirit of good faith in negotiations, on which the patience of the workers who have been waiting since January, legitimately and right, even in comparison with the public sector where Lusa operates, due to decent wage increases, appropriate to the moment we are going through and the quality of the work provided, which Lusa praises, but does not translate into acts”, criticizes the organ .
Incidentally, “the proposal can even be considered an offense to Lusa workers after more than 10 years without effective raises and at a time of historical inflation”, continues the CT, noting that in the meeting it had on February 16 with the president of news agency, Joaquim Carreira, he transmitted that he had met with Finance, in which he presented Lusa and its mission to the new Secretary of State for the Treasury”.
The manager left “this meeting with the indication that only with the presentation of a plan to increase revenues with sustainability in the short term will Lusa be able to apply the model of salary increases in the civil service, which corresponds to increases of 5.1%”, reports the CT.
The Lusa Workers’ Commission “understands that, following that meeting, presenting to the unions and, in this way, to the workers, the proposal that the administration presented represents a ‘throwing the towel to the ground’ that the administration should not even consider and that workers cannot accept”.
The body stresses that “the administration is responsible for demanding and fighting for wage increases and improvements in the necessary conditions” and that “Lusa workers expect no less than this”.
In a statement dated 16 January, CT reported that the president of Lusa had said that the budgeted sum of 200,000 euros for salary increases at the news agency was “insufficient for the demands presented by the workers”.
Meanwhile, TSF radio workers, from the Global Media (GMG) group, will gather on Thursday in front of the company’s facilities, in Lisbon, given the “lack of a response to salary adjustments” for this year.