It is quite rare these days to see workers win outright strikes in matters of hours. This is what happened last Monday when over 100 journalists at the state-owned news agency Maghreb Arab Press in Morocco took a one-day strike action to stop their management impose major changes to their working hours.
The journalists voted to take strike action on 19th September, followed by another two days of strike on 26th and 27th September. They took the decision at a general assembly after initial negotiations with MAP new director Khalili Hachimi Idriss collapsed. Leaders of the journalists’ union, the Syndicat national de la presse marocaine (SNPM), were buoyed by early contacts after MAP management unveiled various options to resolve the dispute. However later, they changed their mind and tried to impose a clock in system which raised the journalists’ hackle.
Hours into the strike, management backed down and cancelled the new arrangements. The union continues to press for new negotiations to resolve outstanding issues, including improved internal democracy and a transparent appointment process, setting up an editorial committee and new statutes for the agency.