Media Association Issues Statement on Strike

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Council of the Mass Media Association of Armenia issued a statement Monday–addressing a one-day warning strike it held last week in opposition to what the council felt were several key issues needing to be resolved.

The statement read–"On December 4–the mass media of Armenia declared a one-day warning strike–after which–Armenian Prime Minister Robert Kocharian met with members of the Council of the Association and heads of media outlets in an effort to resolve their differences.

"The Premier voiced his opinion regarding proposed tasks at hand–promising to consider some of them. Mr Kocharian–in particular–spoke of the problem of rent to be paid by the media outlets. In the last four months the Department of Information and Book Publishing has done work–although slowly–in that direction."

"We hoped to find a quick and acceptable solution through negotiations. We were concerned that the change of the head of the Information and Book Publishing Department would have a lasting negative impact on our work–but the new administration has said it would begin the year with discussions–which means that resolution of our problems will be put off for several months.

"Our protest is in no way aimed at any one individual or organization. We did not consider the dismissal of Garegin Chugaszian from the post of Head of the Information and Book Publishing Department–a detriment–as well as frequent changes in the staff and structure of that organization.

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