Shri D. C. Goswami,
The Hon’ble Minister,
Labour Resources Department,
Government of Bihar,
Sub : Deplorable plight of the working journalists and non journalists employees of the HT Media Ltd. and Hindustan Media Ventures Ltd. Newspaper Establishment in the state of Bihar and Contravention of the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India by the said Newspaper Establishment.
This is to bring to Your notice the following facts -:
That the conditions of service of working journalists and other newspaper employees is regulated by the “ Working Journalist and other Newspaper Employees ( Conditions of Service) And Miscellaneous Provisions Act ,1955 “ (hereinafter referred to as the Act) and the Central Government constituted two Wage Boards under Section 9 and Section 13C of the Act for the purpose of fixing or revising the wages of the Journalists and Non Journalists newspaper employees by the notification of the Government of India in The Ministry of Labour and Employment – S.O. No. 809 (E) and 810 (E) dated 24th May 2007. Hon’ble Justice Gurubax Rai Majithia was appointed as the common Chairman of the two Wage Boards effectively from 04.03.2009.
That the Recommendations of the Majithia Wage Boards were accepted by the Government of India on 25th October’2011 and notified vide S.O. No.-2532 (E), dated 11th November 2011, in the Gazette of India.
That the proprietors of 14 top newspapers of the country challenged the recommendations of the said Wage Boards in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. After marathon hearing and scrutinizing of documents, the Three Judge Bench, headed by Ex- Hon’ble Chief Justice P. Sathashivam, delivered Its judgment on 7th of February’ 2014 upholding the validity of the Act and the recommendations of the Majithia Wage Boards. Even a Review Petition by the Indian Newspaper Society to challenge the historic verdict was dismissed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
That the Hon’ble Supreme Court has directed all the newspapers of the country to implement the recommendations of the Majithia Wage Boards effectively from 11.11.2011.
That Hindustan Times Media Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as HTML) is the producer of English Daily Newspaper- ‘Hindustan Times’ and Hindustan Media Venture Ltd (hereinafter referred to as HMLV) is a subsidiary of HTML which produces the Hindi Daily Newspaper- ‘Hindustan’.
That as per the gross revenue of the Newspaper produced by the HTML and by its subsidiary HMLV, taken together and also individually, both of them clearly fall within the category of Class One newspapers as per the classification made by the Majithia Wage Boards. Therefore, the employees are entitled to the wages and allowance of Class One newspaper from 1st of April’ 2014 and also to the arrears of the increased wages from 11.11.2011.
That in spite of unambiguous directions of the Apex Court for the implementation of recommendations of the Wage Boards from April 1st 2014, the two newspapers have failed to implement the said recommendations till date. Thus, it is regrettably noted that the management of the two said newspapers have proved to be ungenerous employer and the pay scales which are given to the employees of the Newspapers are humiliating, to say the least. The act of not paying the employees according to the recommendations of the Wage Boards amounts to Contempt of the Highest Court of Land. This behavior and attitude of the Management of the two said newspapers is deplorable and reprehensible. It amounts to an open defiance of the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
That to add further to the woes of the employees, the Working Hours as prescribed by Section 6 of The Act are constantly violated and the employees are made to work rigorously for long hours without any incentives. Further, the Night Allowance as recommended by The Wage Board has remained as dead letter and is never paid to the employees who have to spend long hours working in the office till late at night.
That a Legal Notice, dated 19.06.2014, was sent to the concerned authorities of the said Newspaper Establishment, advising them to immediately implement the recommendations of The Majithia Wage Board as per the direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. However, even after a lapse of a period of more than a month of receiving the Legal Notice, the Management of the said Newspapers has refused to pay any heed to its acts of violation of the laws of the land.
Under such facts and circumstances, this application is being sent to Your Hon’ble Self, with the hope and prayer that strict directions are issued to the said Newspaper Establishment to stop violations of Labour Laws and to immediately implement the recommendations of the Majithia Wage Board, as per the direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and to start paying the employees accordingly.
Thanking You in anticipation,