UCIP-Lebanon Claims the Rights of "Al-Saa" TV Channel Journalists and Sheds Light on the Social Rights of Journalists
The International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP) asked the Information Minister as well as the Press Syndicate and the Press Writers Syndicate to protect journalists through fair social security benefits that are necessary to the people working in the very diverse media field. UCIP gave the example of the journalists working in the office of Libyan TV channel "Al-Saa" who were laid off without receiving their salaries and the relevant allowances.
In this context, UCIP issued the following statement:
What happened with Libyan TV channel "Al-Saa" journalists working in Beirut office revealed the vulnerability of the people working in the media field in Lebanon. This channel has been laying off its personnel since approximately 6 months without prior notice and without paying their salaries and the legal allowances they deserve. More than 10 journalists have been dismissed till now. The administration of this channel which broadcasts from Egypt ignored the journalists' rights and refused any mediation aiming to solve the problem. Thus, the journalists had to refer their case to the judicial authorities.
This incident reveals clearly the legal vacuum when it comes to the social security benefits of the people working in the media field. However, it is an opportunity to seize in order to shed light on the situation of the people working in the media field in Lebanon, whether in Lebanese or foreign institutions. In fact, these people do not have access to the social security benefits they deserve. Furthermore, many of them are deprived from health insurance, severance pay and other basic social rights.
UCIP urges Information and Labor Ministers to examine this important social media issue and asks all media institutions to settle all legal matters related to their personnel rights especially that recent incidents showed many unacceptable loopholes.
UCIP calls the Information Minister Tarek Metri attention to the fact that the first step to regularize journalists work starts with social benefits. In fact, the minister is trying to settle their matters and such step will help him to guarantee liberty, justice and dignity which are essential conditions for their work. Journalists will then feel safe and be able to satisfy the needs of their families and their job. If such step is not taken, everything will be dead-letter.
Translated by: Marie-Lou Nicolas