Funke Mediengruppe workers and the German trade union Ver.di have been fighting for months against the company’s decision to close the Thuringia plant. The plant employs 270 workers for the German newspaper giant. Its closure would make Thuringia the first federal state without its own newspaper printing plant, endangering the long-term viability of local newspapers. This would inflict irreparable damage that the people of Thuringia cannot afford.
The company announced the closure of the Funke plant in Thuringia on strategic grounds alone, but has so far failed to provide a single economic argument. The German company has also refused to consider the alternatives proposed by Ver.di and the plant’s workers, which would make it possible to maintain activity in the region under profitable conditions.
Jan Schulze-Husmann, responsible for the sector at Ver.di stated: “We will continue to increase the pressure on Funke, we are not going to give up the fight”.
The press workers and their union Ver.di are putting forward an inspiring plan to save local press in Thuringia. They have undertaken a outlined concrete steps to keep the printing press open and viable, saving 270 jobs that are vital to the local economy while also ensuring the sustainability of local newspapers.
The Thuringia state government in Germany has the opportunity to deliver a new sustainable model of local press. The newspaper publisher, Funke Mediengruppe, has just unilaterally announced plans to close their Erfort site, the last printing press in the state. This will have dramatic long-term impacts on local press in Thuringia.
UNI Europa Graphical and Ver.di have launched an international solidarity campaign to protect jobs and economic activity in Erfurt. Unions across Europe have joined the campaign. Sign the petition for Funke to drop the closure of the Erfurt plant and negotiate with workers, unions and local government for an agreement that provides stability and protects quality news dissemination in the Thuringia region.
UNI Europa Graphical and affiliates from across Europe have expressed their solidarity with Funke workers and their union Ver.di, including: CCOO (Spain), Unite (United Kingdom), Fellesforbundet (Norway), Pergam (Slovenia), Sindikat grafičara i medija (Croatia), DGB (Germany), Syndicom (Switzerland).