DUJ CONGRATULATES the workers of Hindustan Times Ltd for yet another legal victory in their prolonged struggle against unfair dismissal by the management. A District Court has told the management to “reinstate all the eligible Workmen with effect from 03.10.04 itself”.
The workers had been granted this relief by an Industrial Tribunal on 23.01.2012 but the management had not complied with the order. The workers filed an execution petition. Recently Justice Surinder S. Rathi, Additional District Judge, Patiala House Courts in his order of 14.05.2016 has upheld the Industrial Tribunal order and given the management four weeks to comply.
If the Hindustan Times management complies with the order at least 227 workers (perhaps more) will get their jobs back. Delhi Union of Journalists strongly urges the Hindustan Times management to uphold the law and implement the order..
Earlier, the HT management had claimed that it had issued reinstatement letters to the workers but it had done so with certain riders, such as return of previously paid money. In the latest judgement Justice Rathi states: “The purported reinstatement letter issued to the workmen on 19.04.13 is an eyewash and a moonshine and is no compliance of the award.”
The management had been quibbling on the date of reinstatement and had even tried to issue ‘termination’ letters to the ‘reinstated’ workers! Justice Rathi’s order says that since there was no reinstatement there could be no termination.
THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES
The reinstatement order applies to 227 petitioners of the 362 who had originally been thrown out by the company. A few had accepted the termination; some have filed separate cases; some have died while fighting their cases. Some workers were unable to sign the vakalatnama for the execution petition on time as they had gone to their villages. The struggle has seen many ups and downs, many cases, several lawyers and even some differences among the workers and their leaders. Some cases are still in court. Some journalists too have separately challenged their termination orders whereas many had accepted it quietly.
Eminent lawyers including Prashant Bhushan and Colin Gonsalves, among others have generously given their time and advice to the workers’ cause, as have other lawyers in the lower courts. In the Execution petition the workers were represented by advocate Ramesh K. Mishra. Many others have provided support.
Among journalist bodies the Delhi Union of Journalists supported the case from the conciliation stage and spotlighted it throughout.DUJ has always supported the Hindustan Times workers and journalists’ struggle in many ways. The issue was also raised in Parliament from time to time and solidarity rallies held coordinated by the DUJ and by the Confederation of News Paper and News Agencies Employees Organisations from time to time.
Infact- today, 12 years later the intrepid workers of Hindustan Times continue their prolonged resistance. They are sitting on dharna outside the massive HT office building on Kasturba Gandhi Marg, demanding their jobs back. More power to them!!! We salute their grit, are with them and await their final victory. Our thoughts are with their families too and some are starving. As final justice is awaited atleast twelve workers have lost their lives while the HT management dithers as it always did…
Sujata Madhok (General Secretary)
DELHI UNION OF JOURNALISTS(Regd.)