Italian journalists' strike ends Sunday

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ROME -- Italian newsstands were all but barren on Friday and Saturday, and television news programming was temporarily replaced, as Italian journalists went on strike in support of their colleagues at domestic news agencies who walked off the job to protest contract terms. By Sunday, things were back to normal.

Though labor stoppages are common in Italy, they are rare in the media sector.

Domestic news agencies stopped working last Wednesday, and print journalists joined them a day later. On Friday, radio and television journalists joined the strike, leaving Italy with virtually no significant domestic news source: only a few minor newspapers published Friday and Saturday, and television and radio news reports were limited to a few minor bulletins based on non-Italian wire services and read by replacement staff.

The print journalist strike concluded Saturday morning, meaning the first post-strike newspapers appeared Sunday. Broadcast journalist returned to the job early Sunday. In Italy, most domestic journalists belong to trade unions, which negotiate collective contracts. The strike was sparked by a stalemate over terms in the new contract for new agencies. The main sticking point, according to sketchy news coverage of developments, involved pension contributions and trade union dues.

As of Sunday, there was no word on whether or not the problems related to the contract issue had been solved.
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