Dear Comrades, All I.F.W.J. Working committee members, Presidents and general secretaries of State Unions should meet the respective Chief Ministers, Labour secretary and Commissioner to persuade them to comply with the Supreme Court order. The state must nominate before 27 May inspectors under Section 17(b) of the Working Journalist Act 1955.
The Supreme Court order says:
All the State Governments acting through their respective chief secretaries shall, within four weeks from today, appoint Inspectors under Section L7 (b) of the working Journalists and other Newspaper Employees (conditions of service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955 to determine as to whether the dues and entitlements of all categories of Newspaper Employees including Journalists under the Majithia Wage Board award has been implemented in accordance with the terms thereof. The inspectors appointed by the State Government will- naturally exercise their powers as provided under the Act and shall submit their report to this Court through the Labour Commissioners of each State indicating the precise findings on the issue indicated above. This will be done within a period of three months from the date of appointment under Section l7 (b) of the Act.
The cases will-l be listed again after receipt of the report as above stated. All contentions with regard to maintainability of the contempt petitions are kept open. For 50 years or more such labour inspectors had existed but journalists wage board was never fully implemented. The main reason was that shop and factory inspectors held additional charge for overseeing the wage award in newspaper industry. Powerful press warlords browbeat the Chief Minister and thus paralyzed the wage award implementation process. This time also the Supreme Court had not written the adjective “Special” before the inspectors, but the meaning is very clear. Therefore, you must ensure that the labour inspectors under the Supreme Court order must complete their assignment before 27 August 2015 and submit their findings (to the Supreme Court) about wage payments in news paper offices. Use your pen power and union strength to see that these labour inspectors are not influenced, intimidated or bought over by owners. See that no labour inspector files fabricated and bogus report about the status of wage payment. For 50 long years no penal action was taken against guilty men in the press management. Not this time.
The IFWJ is also compiling facts about the number of journalists benefiting from the wage board. The state unions should, therefore, send the required information from different publication centers. Our counsel will persuade the Supreme Court to fix hearing on these reports and also contempt petitions in the first week of September. There are 86 lawyers who appeared in the wage board case. Among them were senior advocate on record Comrade Parmanand Pandey, who was once senior counsel of the UP Government, veteran Colin Gansalves and Savajeet Thajur. Please bring your report to the IFWJ working committee meeting at Bhubaneshwar on June 20 and 21.
With warm greetings and wishes for success.
Ram P Yadav
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