Why Become a Member

  • Each union member enjoys actual rather than merely formal protection by the Macedonian Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers.
  • There is no other organization, group or individual that can protect and promote the interests of journalists and other media workers with their employers. The Trade Union is the only legally authorized body to negotiate with media owners and sign collective agreements, participate in negotiations for dispute settlement and work on improvement of the general, living and working conditions of media workers.
  • In addition to collective agreements, the trade union has the means and above all the power to undertake a number of activities, methods and campaigns in its fight for protection of the material, working, social and status rights of its members. Through demonstrations, strikes and organized pressure, owners can be pressed to respect their obligations and threat their employees` rights with dignity and in compliance with the existing laws. The Trade Union may and should demand amendments to certain provisions from laws relating to trade union members and defend, vigorously and by using all means available, their legal rights in cases of violation.
  • The Trade Union can provide efficient protection of the rights of all of its members regardless whether they are employed, indefinitely or under fixed term contracts, free-lancers or associates under temporary service contracts or under no contracts at all. There are ways to protect the unemployed members as well, and the Trade Union can find ways to obtain unpaid salaries to free-lance associates and insist on returning those who have been unlawfully dismissed to work. Moreover, the Trade Union can provide efficient protection in the area of social protection and safety and health at work and, what is especially important, promote increased work safety.
  • The Trade Union offers free legal aid to its members. The attorneys with whom SSNM cooperates are available to all members if they they decide to sue their employers for dismissal, unpaid salaries, unfair treatment at the work place, etc.
  • If the Trade Union had the financial means, its members would be able to form solidarity funds which would be used not only for addressing financial problems of certain members, but also for helping those who participate in prolonged strikes for different reasons.
  • The journalists from the media with which the Trade Union enters into collective agreements will enjoy a higher level of work safety and professional and social rights as compared to the media which will not enter into such agreements.
  • Due to the work dynamics and the extremely stressful nature of their work, media workers are more exposed to physical and mental exhaustion than the members of other professions. Therefore, the collective agreements entered into by the Trade Union will ensure greater security and a more humane treatment, especially of the elderly members.
  • By signing a collective agreement, every union member will get a stronger and better negotiating position when signing individual employment contracts, as it will give him/her the advantage to demand better working conditions and a higher salary.
  • An important factor in the protection of the interests of journalists and media workers are the Trade Union representatives, who are always available to the members for assistance in solving any issues they might have. Maybe the media house employer has refused to talk to the worker and address the issue, but he cannot do the same with the Trade Union representative as he is obligated by law to talk to him. The Trade Union representative is his legal partner in addressing the problems of the employees in the media company.
  • In many cases, the employer wants to resolve issues with the representatives only. Most of the journalists and media workers are not informed, but employers are well aware that while they do not have to meet with the journalists, they will have to meet with the representative who protects their interests. The management also knows that in such cases they do not only talk to the representative as an individual, but to the Trade Union and its branch that rightfully represents its members.
  • The experience shows that where there is no trade union, employers can ruthlessly exploit journalists and media workers, lower their salaries, give miserable wages and unlawfully fire or dismiss them. For a long time now we have been witnessing how some “media gods” fire journalists for not making the expected profit, which has nothing to do with the market economy, but is rather a flagrant mistreatment. As long as the owner needs the journalist, everything is fine. But when the journalist is no longer needed, he will be sacked. The practice of journalists losing their jobs literally overnight without any remuneration will become history in those media with which the Trade Union has signed collective agreements and has regulated the severance package.
  • There are many reasons why you should become a member of the Trade Union. Only journalists and media workers organized in a union are in a position to fight the exploitation and manipulation imposed by employers, a practice which shows that better working conditions and social peace within the editorial office can only be achieved by mutual agreement.
  • The Trade Union may have an influence on great many aspects of your work, including how to best sell your work to the employer. We are faced with a reality where high salaries are reserved for the so-called “journalist stars”, who are in many cases “hostages” to the owners or the Government. It is not seldom the case that selected individuals are “bought” with perks such as use of cars, credit cards, mobile phones, and even apartments.
  • This practice makes many think that submissive, poltroon, spineless and compliant behavior will help them prosper, so they get stuck in a dead-end street and lose their human and professional dignity. This mentality may lead to misuse and manipulation of journalists and their work, which can in turn jeopardize the freedom of media workers. Creation of a trade union in such conditions is very difficult. Journalists start fearing for their jobs and become a weak opponent to those who want to exploit them.
  • With a little bit more of personal and professional courage, the trade union of journalists may be strengthened, which will increase its power. It Italy, the journalists go on a strike if only one journalists has been wrongfully dismissed. In the developed democratic countries, it is unimaginable for the employer to regulate the employment conditions in the editorial office following his own rules of procedures and acts, but does it exclusively through negotiations with the journalists or by signing collective agreements.
  • In our country, employers follow a completely different pattern of behavior towards unorganized journalists as opposed to trade union members. This has been confirmed by the trade union practice all over the world. Therefore, instead of lamenting about their personal powerlessness, they should direct their energy towards diffusing the apathy and the lack of interest for their own destiny.
  • It is true that owners and editors have the power and that in many media, by playing with the lives of excellent professionals and spreading fatalism, they contribute to the deterioration of the conditions in journalism. The best way to fight this is to become a member of the Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers. Many journalists believe that they can solve their problems with the employers, but there are numerous examples that show that those who are not members of the Trade Union are frequently left to the mercy of the employers` business interests. Membership in the Trade Union gives everyone the security and strength to step up more courageous and dignified in their fight for their rights, knowing that they are not alone.
  • The Trade Union is legally authorized to participate in decision making. Driven by the urge to make high profit and squash the competition, employers try to put the journalists` ethics in the service of their commercial interest. The task of the Trade Union is to stop them in the process.


  • In fact, everything the Trade Union achieves though negotiations with employers represents one of the key measures to enable freedom of the media in Macedonia. Only the journalists who have been successful in their fight for a firmly defined status, proper professional role and material and social rights above the minimum prescribed by law, can be free, and only professionally and economically free journalists can generate free media.


  • The Trade Union depends on its members and their confidence that it can represent their interests. No trade union management would be able to ensure realization of the material, social and professional rights of journalists without the support of its membership. Therefore, it is essential that as many media workers become members of the Trade Union so they can secure their interests in a more efficient manner.


  • Always have in mind that employers and workers have different interests. The employer seeks to achieve higher profits at the lowest price, while journalists seek higher salaries and other benefits for their work. In this everlasting conflict between capital and labor, SSNM will try to negotiate a balance between these apparently irreconcilable interests, ensuring that media workers are never deprived or damaged.




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