Week-long strike ends, ‘Ilanga’ back in print

2012-04-16 00:00

AFTER dropping their pens in a weeklong strike, Ilanga journalists returned to work on Friday. “We were in a war,” said a senior journalist and shop steward Willem Phungula.

The journalists and management were locked in talks for seven hours on Friday.

“The demands were met and we’re satisfied. We’ll issue a joint statement soon,” he said.

Phungula apologised for the inconvenience that their readers suffered, saying: “It was not by choice but the circumstance forced us to strike”.

Ilanga is 100 years old, which makes it the oldest Zulu newspaper and this was the first strike since its inception.

According to the Audit Bureau Circulations from July to September 2011, Ilanga’s bi-weekly circulation was 135 706 and their Sunday number 85 726. Ilanga showed the highest growth among top newspapers.

The workers went on strike on April 7 and were demanding a 10% pay rise, and a minimum starting salary of R10 000 for journalists, exclusive of performance bonuses.

Arthur Konigkramer, MD of Mandla-Matla, which owns the newspaper, said they would issue a joint statement today.

“But all I can say is that the strike was settled with the help of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration. We’re happy that journalists are back at work,” he said.

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

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