The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today denounced the "double standards" used by Swiss media group Ringier against Romanian journalists.
"Once again we see a company working outside its home base applying scandalous double standards," said EFJ General Secretary Aidan White. "The Ringier company would never contemplate the sort of behaviour in Switzerland that it is guilty of in Romania where it has been caught cheating its employees out of pay that is due to them."
The scandal was uncovered when Marius Draghici, a journalist working at Evenimentul Zilei, the daily newspaper owned by Ringier, opened a case over financial discrimination and filed a complaint at the Court of Bucharest for workplace harassment, censorship and violation of his rights.
Since October 2008, the editor of Evenimentul Zilei censored articles written by Draghici, including investigations into cases involving senior public officials and reports on the Holocaust. As a result of his complaint on 11 February 2009, his employer cut almost 70 per cent of his salary. The EFJ affiliate in Romania, RFJ MediaSind, also filed a complaint against Ringier Romania before the Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Protection.
A report by the Ministry of Labour confirmed the rights of Mr. Draghici and called on Ringier Romania SRL to pay Mr. Draghici his full salary. The report also revealed that the labour law on minimum wage and overtime work was violated for all the employees of Ringier Romania. The Ministry has requested a settlement covering all unpaid amounts over the past three years.