Save Journalism, Save the Working Journalists Act. NAJ Launches a Campaign Against the Labour Codes.
A joint protest of journalists’ bodies, led by the National Alliance of Journalists(NAJ) and Delhi union of Journalists (DUJ), was held in Delhi, to defend the Working Journalists Act and campaign against the Labour Codes.
The journalists marched from the Press club of India to the Shram Shakti Bhavan to register their protest outside the Labour Ministry.
The protest meeting was addressed by S.K. Pande President of the National Alliance of Journalists, veteran journalist T.K. Rajalakshmi , A.S. Suresh Kumar Joint Secretary of NAJ, Jinesh P. Secretary of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists, Siddique Kappan of Kerala Union of Working Journalists, Sujata Madhok General Secretary of DUJ, A.M. Jigeesh Secretary of DUJ and Siddheshwar Shukla Secretary of CITU, Delhi. Members of KUWJ, Kerala Press Club, DUJ, NAJ and other bodies led the vociferous protest.
The journalists expressed their strong opposition to the move to repeal the Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service & Miscellaneous Provisions)Act,1955 and the Working Journalists (Fixation of Wages) Act, 1958 Payment of Wages Act through the Code on Occupational Health, Safety and Working Conditions, 2019 (OSH Code).
Instead of amending the Working Journalists Act to include TV journalists and all forms of online digital media the Codes will repeal the Act itself, withdrawing existing protections.
The OSH Code meets none of our demands, such as an end to the contract system, legal protection from attacks on media workers, risk insurance, removal of criminal defamation, proper pensions and other needs, while taking away benefits such as the provision of periodic Wage Boards, three months’ retrenchment pay and other benefits.
The repeal of the Working Journalists’ Acts spells anarchy for the profession of journalism. Employers will be given free reign to pay what they choose and lay down arbitrary working conditions to boot.
A Solidarity Committee was formed to continue our Campaign Against the Codes.