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7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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Journalists protest against ‘poverty wages’

4 November 2007 - The Holland Times, a paper distributed among the expat community, pays its freelance journalists 10 eurocents per word. Tomorrow morning, the Netherlands branch of the British National Union of Journalists (NUJ) will be staging a protest at Argopress, also the publisher of Amsterdams Stadsblad.

The action, which has the support of the Dutch journalists’ union NVJ, is part of the European ‘Stand Up For Journalism’ day of action to fight for improved pay and defend quality in the media.

According to the NUJ, the Holland Times pays its contract staff wages on or just above the minimum wage, while paying freelance journalists 10 cents per word. “Freelancers on a rate of 10 eurocents a word cannot possibly turn out enough work to match even this minimum level, particularly when you remember that they have to cover their own overheads, insurance etc”.

“Moreover, there have been frequent complaints by freelance journalists about long delays in payment of even these small amounts, requiring them to actively chase money that is owed to them”, an NUJ press release states.

Besides the Holland Times, Argopress also publishes a number of free newspapers in Dutch, including Amsterdams Stadsblad. “The Netherlands branch of the NUJ understands that the situation is no better at the Dutch free papers that Argopress produces”.

The Holland Times targets expats, diplomats, business travellers and tourists. The paper is distributed by upmarket hotels, airlines, and multinationals including Shell, Canon, Cisco Systems, New Horizons, KPMG and ABN-AMRO.

The NUJ says that the media are controlled by a small group of wealthy corporations that increase profits by cutting journalists’ wages and by replacing contract staff with freelancers. This erodes independent quality journalism, the union warns.

Protest: 5 November 2007, 08:30 am, Delflandlaan 4, near Lelylaan Station. Stand Up For Journalism, NVJ (in Dutch)


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