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Journalists of "Adjara" and "Adjaria" Newspapers May Hold a Strike

29.12.2005

Journalists of "Adjara" and "Adjaria" Newspapers May Hold a Strike

In case the Adjara Autonomous Republic's state-owned newspapers "Adjara" and "Adjaria" (Russian-speaking edition) start to pay salaries based on honoraria system the journalists of those papers may announce their disobedience to the joint editorial staff of the papers. The journalists made that ultimatum at their trade union meeting on December 28.

According to the "Adjara" newspaper's correspondent Irma Tsetskhladze, currently the journalists have 400 GEL salaries, in case they get only honoraria their incomes will decrease sharply. Tsetskhladze said that journalists may demand resignation of the editor.

Journalists state that the management of the newspapers is trying to fire the professionals and hire inexperienced journalists instead. Besides, they are dissatisfied with the censorship and financial violations existing the newspapers.

According to editor-in-chief of both newspapers David Chkhartishvili, the reason for the newspaper's reorganization is the fact that Autonomy's budget decreased the papers' financing. According to him, in 2006 both "Adjara" and "Adjaria" will receive 160,000 GEL, whereas in 2005 the papers got 280,000 GEL.

"The number of employees in both newspapers must be decreased by 50% - down to 30 journalists, who will receive only honoraria" - he said. "Adjara" and "Adjaria" newspapers are joined under one limited liability company, the 100% of its shares are owned by the state.

Daily newspaper "Adjara's" circulation is 1100 copies, "Adjaria's" circulation is 500 copies

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