Unfair Labour Practices Rock Delhi Newspaper Industry Also
The Delhi Union of Journalists in a statement has said that hundreds of journalists in the capital have been thrown on the roads and many veterans have to work virtually 24x7 in total violation of the Working Journalists Act. At a meeting of the DUJ office bearers and national council members reports were heard of the attempted snap closure of three??magazines of the Outlook group --??Marie Claire, Geo and People ? putting the jobs of around 135 employees in jeopardy.?An interim report placed before office bearers pointed out that virtual jungle law was prevailing in newspaper establishments from print to TV all over the country which was now having more than trickle down effect in Delhi ? affecting not only journalists but press workers also.?The DUJ has made it clear that it is shocked to find that more than half a dozen workers illegally dismissed have died due to starvation in the past three years, despite court orders calling for their reinstatement which are being continuously challenged. It has noted that even court orders calling for their reinstatement have been given the go by effecting divisions between the to be retired employees and those not to be retired as of now. A three person enquiry committee has been constituted by the DUJ to go into the issue of increasing cases of unfair labour practices in the newspaper industry in the capital. The DUJ has called for immediate inspection of premises of the guilty newspaper offices as per Sec. 17(b) of the Working Journalists Act. Calling for a uniform retirement age in the newspaper industry of 65, the DUJ opined that one-third of wage board employees in the capital were retired or shunted out during the pendency of wage board proceedings, while many others were coerced into contracts under humiliating terms. There are three types of contracts, the DUJ said ? coercive contracts, contracts against permanent vacancies and contracts to circumvent the wage board and reduce journalism to contracts of bondage which were an infringement on the freedom of the press and on the right to association.The DUJ has welcomed the judgment by the Labour Court in the Mumbai which has asked the Outlook group to maintain status quo. It has also welcomed a recent judgement from Kerala on a similar issue.