The Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) and the Independent Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers (ITUJMW) react strongly to the manner in which the dismissal of our colleague, photojournalist Arbnora Memeti from “Metamorphosis” was announced without procedure and disrespect for elementary dignity.
ITUJMW reviewed in detail the application and the documentation submitted by our member, based on which we conclude that the manner in which she was fired is inappropriate and without justified reason.
Namely, the dismissal cannot be submitted by e-mail as part of correspondence in which the photojournalist is asked to stop defending her copyright, which has been violated by other legal entities.
Additionally, the very fact that until that moment the worker did not receive official warning stating that she was violating the work order and discipline or not fulfilling her work obligations, indicates that the dismissal is consequence of arbitrary decision without justified reasons.
In this regard, the journalists’ organizations express their condemnation that “Metamorphosis” not only did not stand behind its employee who tried to protect its copyrights, which also shares with her home office, but also punished her with dismissal sent by e-mail, and later justified by attempts for negative qualifications and degradation of her work, which practically complicates any future potential engagement.
Unfortunately, this is not the only case in which newsrooms “overnight” sacrifice their employees based on received a phone call, a friendly suggestion or for the possibility of some future lucrative business. Nevertheless, “Metamorphosis” as organization which publishes three media and which in 2019 received the award for Medium promoter of journalism as public good “Roberto Belichanec” could not afford it.
AJM and ITUJMW express full support for their member Arbnora Memeti and encourage everyone, especially young journalists to fight for their rights and be in solidarity with each other. Only in this manner, we will stand on the way of practice of unjust dismissals, silencing and denying all the work invested in editorial office at the moment when it is decided that it no longer belongs to it. Young professionals are in short supply in this sector and additional motivation is needed to stay and encourage doing their job. Therefore, we appeal to all professional media to pay special attention to the professional development of young journalists and media workers who work diligently in the public interest.