Italian newsstands to strike during elections

Vendors close February 24-26

Italian newsstands to strike during elections

Rome, February 6 - Italian newsstands will strike for three days during the Italian parliamentary elections this month, newspaper and magazine reseller unions announced on Wednesday. The strike, to last February 24-26, is due to "the deep crisis in the sector" and the "silence of the government and the (editors and publishers federation) FIEG," according to a joint announcement by the SNAG-Confcommercio, the SINAGI affiliate of the SLC-CGIL and the USIAGI-UGL. The unions denounced the "prolonged absence of clear rules - requested forcefully and repeatedly by the union organizations" the statement went on. The unions are calling for editorial sector reforms they say were promised but neglected by "various administrations". In particular, the unions are upset about the expiration and lack of renewal of a national agreement regarding the sale of newspapers, magazines and journals, which the unions said "creates a series of operational difficulties" and threatens the "very existence of newsstands". The unions claim that 30,000 newsstand jobs could disappear in upcoming months, and that 20,000 jobs and 10,000 newsstands have already been lost in recent years. "With this protest, we want to remind everyone how important newsstands are in guaranteeing our right to information, enshrined in the constitution," wrote Armando Abbiati, president of SNAG-Confcommercio.

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