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05/06/2008 - par Mark Tungate

I was amused to read that a bunch of freelance journalists have gone on strike in America because they haven't been paid by a magazine called The Players Club. Although this might sound like a porn magazine, it's actually a sports, business and lifestyle publication founded by former New York Mets baseball star Lenny Dykstra. Whatever : the point is that, according to the New York Post, these freelance journalists are seething because they haven't been paid for articles they wrote for the last two issues.

So here's the thing - I'm a freelancer myself, and now I'm seriously considering going on strike. I don't know how things work in America, but I seem to spend my entire life calling people who owe me money. In fact, I consider it's so much part of a freelancer's job that I actually set aside one afternoon per week for that purpose. Right now, I'm owed about 6 000 euros from various people I've worked for since January. Imagine all the things I could do with that money ? Imagine all the interest these companies are accruing by sitting on my cash ?

Of course, I can't go on strike, because then I'll earn no money at all. But if you ever consider going freelance, this is how it works : a guy calls you and asks you to write an article/speech/brochure/script. The deadline is tomorrow. You work all night to get it done, and send it off with your invoice (facture). Three months later, you still haven't been paid. A deadline is a one-way street.

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