Disappointing Majithia Status Report of U.P. Government

At long last, on 6th of June 2016, after more than two years, the Government of Uttar Pradesh has filed the status report in the Supreme Court on the implementation of the Majithia recommendations. It has been filed through U P Labour Commissioner, Ms Shalini Prasad in compliance with the order of the Hon’ble Court dated 28.04.2015.

The status report says ‘that in total 75 newspapers establishments have been inspected by the officers, wherein it has been found that only 13 newspaper establishments have implemented the Majithia Wage Award.’ It further says that ‘M/s Amar Ujala has partially implemented the recommendation as arrears have not been fully paid instead an agreement has been entered into between the employers and workers regarding payment of arrears in 48 instalments with 5% bonus on total amount of bonus.’

The status report goes on that ‘the Majithia recommendations are not applicable on M/s Dainik Jagran establishment as it has obtained option of the employees under section 20j of the Majithia Award. However, several workers have denied having given options, though they have signed the option documents. They have, therefore, been advised by the Regional Officers to file their claim under section 17(1) of the Working Journalists Act.’ The report says that ‘remaining newspaper establishments have not implemented the recommendations and action has been initiated against them. In all 43 prosecutions/complaints have been filed against defaulting newspaper establishments in the concerned courts of Judicial Magistrate, says the status report of the U.P. Government. 

Surprisingly, there is no mention of any independent enquiry, which should have, in all fairness, been conducted by the officers to find out the factual position with regard to obtaining the option of Section 20j from of the employees by Dainik Jagran Establishment.  A newspaper that claims to have the largest circulation in the country must be falling in the class – I category of the newspapers, yet the salary it pays to its employees is ridiculously low. This newspaper has adopted ‘couldn’t careless’ policy towards all the laws of the land including the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India by denying the Majithia Award to its own employees. Nevertheless, the status report is completely silent on it.  Nothing could be more shocking to say in the report that almost all employees have accepted the option of Section 20j, which gives lesser than half the wages to the employees than what the Majithia Award has recommended. Nobody in his or her senses would willingly accept such shamefully low salary that the management is paying to them. What is even more painful to see the report is that the Labour Department of the Government of Uttar Pradesh has completely failed in its duty to take suo muto action the management for its atrocious anti-labour practice.

Among other glaring lapse in this status report is that it has accepted the version of the management of the Hindustan Media Ventures limited, the publishers of the Hindustan Times and Dainik Hindustan, without any ifs and buts. The report says that the Hindustan Media Ventures Ltd. having its publications from Lucknow, Meerut, Moradabad, Bareilly, Varanasi, Allahabad and Kanpur have not only fully implemented the Award but its employees are being paid more than the Wage Board recommendations. This shows that the Labour Officers have swallowed the falsehood of newspaper establishments without conducting any impartial enquiry. The status report as filed by the Government of Uttar Pradesh is, thus, totally disappointing and is farthest from the truth.

Parmanand Pandey
Secretary General
IFWJ



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