International news in brief: Hungarian wage agreement, Journalism campaign launched, EU agrees with China on welfare

Hungarian wage agreement

A wage agreement between the state-owned Hungarian post office and its trade unions has secured an average salary increase for the workforce of 7.5% for 2008. The significance of the agreement is that it sets the benchmark for negotiations at a national level.

Journalism campaign launched

The European Federation of Journalists has recently launched the ‘Stand up for Journalism’ campaign to highlight the problems the sector is facing. Journalism has become a precarious occupation, mainly due to increased competition from online publications, the campaigner said.

EU agrees with China on welfare

The EU’s social affairs commissioner has ratified an agreement with China on social security, employment, social policy and demographic ageing. The aim is to raise awareness on health and safety at work and provide a modern system of social security. The EU Commission hopes that co-operation between the EU and China will contribute to a reduction in “social dumping”, whereby a country with weak or poorly-enforced labour standards (and consequent lower costs) such as China gains a competitive advantage by exporting goods to countries with higher labour standards.

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