People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 51

December 18, 2011



Journos Protest against Delay in Implementation


JOURNALISTS and press persons began their countrywide agitation on December 12, with rallies and dharnas in Delhi and select state capitals, to protest against the delay in the wage board recommendations for them. The spotlight of the protest action was on Delhi.


Hundreds of press workers and journalists belonging to news agencies and several newspapers held rallies in the capital for early implementation of the wage board report, and resolved to intensify their agitation further. The call for the action came from the Confederation of Newspaper and News Agency Employees Organisations (CNNAEO). Similar reports came from several state capitals, and also from the PTI.


The joint meetings, that took place in Delhi, expressed serious concern over the reports of various managements threatening select employees and trying to get the wage board report delayed. The meetings felt that this amounted to challenging the constitutional validity of the Working Journalists Act or slowly killing it if possible.


In Delhi, the rallies and dharnas were addressed by CNNAEO secretary general M S Yadav, Sujata Madhok and S K Pande (DUJ), M S Joshi (UNI), Madan Talwar (AINEF), Suresh Akhouri (IJU), Roop Chand (Times of India), Mahesh Daylu Gangwar (NUJ) and C S Naydu (Indian Express).


Meanwhile, on December 12, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the centre on a writ petition filed by Rajasthan Patrika, challenging the notification to implement the recommendations of the wage board, presided over by Justice Majithia, for journalists and non-journalists.


A Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Desai issued the notice after hearing senior counsel K V Viswanathan, appearing for the petitioners. The bench granted two weeks time to the centre for filing its response on the main petition and on the application seeking interim stay of the notification. The petition was expected to be listed for the second week of January 2012.


Senior counsel Gopal Jain made a mention that the petitions filed by others, challenging the report and the subsequent notification, could also be listed along with the writ petition filed by Rajasthan Patrika. These included the petitions filed by the Anand Bazar Patrika (publishers of The Telegraph and other newspapers), the Bennett Coleman and Co Ltd (publishers of The Times of India and other newspapers), and the Indian Newspaper Society. The bench then directed that all the petitions must be tagged and listed together.