hike under the recommendations of the Majithia Wage Board. Dismissing pleas by various owners seeking a review of its earlier judgment, the Supreme Court directed publishers to implement the recommendations of the latest wage board from this month on.The bench comprising Chief Justice P Sathasivam, Justice Ranjan
Gogoiand Justice Shiva Kirti Singh ruled that the wages as revised
‘would be payable from 11 November 2011,’ when the Indian Union
government notified the recommendations of the Majithia Board.“All the arrears up to March 2014 shall be paid to all eligible
employees in four equal installments within a period of one year and continue to pay the revised wages from April 2014 onwards,” the verdict noted.The latest report of national wage board for working journalists and
other newspaper employees under the leadership of Justice GR Majithia was presented to the Union government in New Delhi on 31 December 2010.“A fine, fair and judicious balance has been achieved between the
expectations and aspirations of the employees and the capacity and willingness of the employers to pay,” said Justice Majithia in an
interview.He added that the report made suggestions for the consideration of the government on issues like post-retirement benefits, a forward looking promotion policy, measures to improve enforcement of the wage board etc.As far as social security measures are concerned possibility of granting paternity leave to male employees, extension of retirement age up to 65 years, exploring pension scheme possibilities were suggested going beyond the mandated wage structure revision, he added.The wage boards for newspaper & news agency employees including journalists, constituted under the working journalists and other newspaper employees (conditions of service) and miscellaneous provisions act 1955, are statutory. The prime responsibility for implementing the recommendations of the wage board rests with the concerned province governments and Union territories of India.“Journalists are paid a lump sum without any welfare benefits and they can be dismissed at will. Except for some newspapers the mainstream publications had, ever since the wage board’s award came out in 2010,conducted only diatribes against the award,” said an editorial of Economic & Political Weekly, a credible publication of India in its 29 March 2014 issue.It also added, “The burden of opinion pieces by either the owners or
top executives (usually in their own publications) was that small
newspapers would be forced to close down while the bigger ones would be crippled. While five journalists’ trade unions and federations fought the challenges in court, there was nary a word from journalists or any form of public protest. The entire scenario illustrates well the working conditions of journalists in the country today.”Even the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), a regional
non-governmental organization that monitors human rights in Asia and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the
protection and promotion of the rights, expressed concerns over the
salary and working conditions of media persons in India.“In the last few years there has been a major change in the profile of media houses, with an increasing number of high profile
businesspersons/organizations making an entry.Yet, working conditions for media personnel remain close to the same,” said the AHRC statement issued on 14 April from its headquarters in Hong Kong, adding that the salary of newspaper employees is ‘minimal with no chance of raise no matter how many years one has been on the job.’Referring to India’s apex court’s decision to uphold the
recommendations of Majithia Wage Board for journalists and
non-journalists on their pay structure, the AHRC urged media houses to honor and implement the recommendations of the latest wage board as a matter of priority.It also called upon the State governments to ensure a safe working atmosphere for journalists and make provisions for social benefits like health and life insurance for the media employees.The Assam Tribune group of newspapers based in Guwahati was the first media house in India to implement the recommendations of the latest wage board since January 2012. The 70 years old media house did not wait for the apex court verdict, as done by many big newspaper groups of the country while challenging the constitutionality of the Majithia Wage Board in the Supreme Court.The editor of The Assam Tribune, PG Baruah, also the managing director of the media house that publishes an Assamese daily, an Assamese weekly and an Assamese literary magazine besides the English daily, was candid when he spoke about the wage board implementation, “We have given the employees their due. It is our duty and also the gesture.”All Assam Media Employees Federation (AAMEF), while addressing the matter of livelihood for media workers in northeast India has urged the newspaper house managements to show their respect to the Supreme Court by implementing the new wage board from this month.Appreciating the Assam Tribune group for implementing the latest wage board recommendations for the first time in the country, the AAMEF declared, “It is now time for other media groups to show gesture to their employees.”“We have a model media house (Assam Tribune) that has successfully survived for two years with the new wage board facilities to the employees. Now we do not accept any logic that the Majithia recommendations are not implementable. You have to have the minimum commitment to the medium,” said Hiten Mahanta, president of AAMEF.Speaking to this writer, Mahanta, also a veteran journalist of
Assam, expressed dismay that most media groups in the country have made it a habit to show a loss-making balance sheet every year with an aim to avoid paying proper salaries to the employees.“But except few, it's a common practice for all the media barons to
divert funds from the collected amount of money from the advertisers to other non-media enterprises owned by their families,” he asserted adding that ‘the newspaper owners continue siphoning away the essential resource of the media groups for their selfish interest only to establish the media business as an unprofitable endeavor.’Meanwhile, Journalists' Forum Assam (JFA) has urged the Union
government to facilitate the media persons engaged with the
privately-owned satellite news channels with systematic pay hike as like their counterparts in the print media. The Assam-based scribes' body pointed out that nearly 70 percent television journalists were still performing their duties with pitiable salaries (read monthly financial package), unlimited working hours and without any facilities recommended by the country's labour laws.“More over, we demand for a social media audit where the esteemed readers & viewers can find a transparent picture of the financial dealings involved with their favorite newspapers & news channels,” said Rupam Barua, president of JFA adding that the exercise would ultimately help the media employees including the working journalists in getting their due benefits under the law of the land.
POK Editor Bats for More Exchanges
Cries Mounted for Reviving Nabin Chandra ...
Scam, Media Outburst and Its Aftermath
Amidst Chinese Threat Dalai Lama Concludes ...
Asserting Media Person’s Rights in India
China’s Myanmar Bonanza Sans Responsibility
Manufacturing Misguided Protests in Assam
Assam Forum Bats for Work Permits to ...
Bhupen-da Came alive with Dhola-Sadiya Bridge ...
Remembering My Principal Sir!
Saluting Tricolour to Defy Militants’ Diktat ...
Underlining India’s Productive Engagement in ...
Young Journalist Killed in India, ...
Journalist Body Urges Political Parties to ...
Saving the Tigers from Extinction
Glorious Tribute to Bhupenda
Burmese Students Term New Government Bogus
Burma Turns Hostile to Indian Separatist Groups
Northeast India Rediscovers Tricolour
Indian People’s Win Inspires Burmese Activists
Nobel Support for a Noble Cause
Activists Condemn India’s Arm Deal with Burma
Protest Note from Guwahati Press Club
Journalists’ Killings: Justice Eludes in ...
Games Gogoi Played In Assam Polls
Remembering Parag: Assam’s Way
Helicopter Missing from Northeast Indian Sky
Allegations Poured on Indian Premier
Allegations Fired at Indian Premier
Rising Resentment against Corruption in India
Satellite News Channel Launched in Northeast ...
Looking at Burma's Forthcoming General ...
Burma Election, Refugees and Media’s Role
When British Newspaper Tenders Apology to ...
TST Contributor Honored with Excellence Award
Burning Rhino Horns: Creating Controversy
Condemning Military Election in Burma
Protest against Military Election in Burma
Burmese Demonstrates Anger against Junta
Assam: A Pretending Warrior and Peace ...
South-eastern Bangladesh Erupts in Violence
Grim Picture of Human Rights in India
Burma on Radar as New Delhi Prepares for ...
Assam: Where People Defy Militant's Diktat
Bangladesh Readies to Hang Bangabandhu Killers
International Film Festival Begins in Guwahati
RK Pachauri under Attack from British Media
Selling News Space Culture in India: Concerns ...
Asian MPs Insist on a Free & Fair 2010 Burma ...
Guwahati Festival to Highlight Terrorism
Assam: Brutal Armed Group, Incompetent ...
Without Suu Kyi, 2010 Polls Have No Meaning
Beijing Eyes Northeast India !
Bumpy Road to Copenhagen
Nava Thakuria Elected Assistant Gen. Sec. of ...
Northeast India: People Defy Militant’s ...
Northeast India: Waiting for Justice for 18 ...
Northeast India : Where Protector Turns Killer
Raising Support for Democracy in Burma
Indian Muslims Raise Voices for Uighurs
Will Captive Breeding of Vultures Work?
Northeast India: Trailing a Notorious Rebel
Is Burma Junta Learning from Cyclone Nargis!
Is a Nepali Fugitive Winning Indian Election?
When Politician Uses Scribe for Vested Interest
Assam Editor Killing: Protest Continues
Freedom under Chinese Boot in Tibet
Pride and Poverty: India's Amazing Blending
Sri Lankan Crisis: Shelling on Hospital ...
Northeast India Defies Militant's Diktat:
Woman Journalist Killed in Nepal
Urging for Insurance Coverage to Media Persons
Bangladesh: Waiting for a Stable Democratic ...
ULFA Leader Appeals UNHCR for Political Asylum
Assam Mourns Death of Mumbai Terror Attack
When an Assamese Magazine Rejects ...
Bangladesh Polls: Apprehension on Final Outcome
Manipur Asks for CBI Probe into Scribe's ...
Scribe's Killing in Northeast: Demand for ...
'Suspend Burma from BIMSTEC'
Guwahati Citizens Meet to Discuss Terrorism
Group Clashes Shock Northeast India
When Media Distorts Facts to Manufacture News
Where Editors Swindle Reporters
Calling upon Comprehensive Packages for ...
Highlighting Media's Challenge and ...
Media on Media' Glitch: An Exercise of ...
An Ignited Assam Baffles ULFA
Assam Defies Militant's Diktat to Celebrate ...
Journalists Dare to Defy Militants' Diktat
When Bangladeshi Influx Ignites Assam
Nepal Can Expect a Consensus of Government Soon
Victorious Maoists Lose Battle for Kathmandu
India: Assam Party Waits for an Opportunity
Burma after Nargis: Devastated, Depressed and ...
When a Disastrous Regime Continues
Exposing Corrupt Journalists of Our Time
Nepal Waits a Republic Regime: Diasporas Don't ...
Waiting for Consensus on Government in Nepal
Condemnation Pours on Burmese Junta as Suu ...
American-Assamese Preparing White Paper on ...
Assam Government Bows Down to Public Outrages
Shaky Start to Druk Democracy
India and Burma Push Joint Project
Bhutan Turns Democratic
Disregarding Public Outcry: Assam Government's ...
Army, Police Heads Become Governors in North ...
Rhinos Dwindle as Poaching Thrives in India
Taste of Democracy in Bhutan Is Not for ...
Nava Thakuria, who serves as a special correspondent for The Seoul Times, is based in Guwahati of Northeast India. He also contributes articles for many media outlets based in different parts of the glove, and can be contacted at email@example.com
The Seoul Times
Shinheungro 25-gil 2-6
Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea
Office: 82-10-6606-6188 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyrights 2000 The Seoul Times Company ST Banner Exchange