Delayed payment of wages and a virtual blockade of help from the Centre plus mismanagement over the years has led to the virtual killing of the second national news agency, the United News of India in the country with a Hindi and Urdu wing which at times has stood virtually on its own, the Delhi Union of journalists said today. A meeting of office functionaries has called upon the Centre and the new Delhi state government to intervene in all possible ways to save a second national news agency from collapse. It has further noted that hundreds of employees, journalists and non-journalists are on the roads while many have retired with pending dues and they are spread all over the country.
Not only this, the question of wage board dues implemented in the past remains a big question mark. We fail to understand, the DUJ stated, that while there are records to show that agencies like the erstwhile Hindustan Samachar were allowed to survive even bilingual agencies were not allowed to flower and bloom after 68 years of independence. It is high time, the DUJ felt, that the government not only intervened effectively but in a democratic way after discussions with representatives of employees, journalists and non-journalists to ensure clearance of back dues and a well thought out reorganized managerial structure.
Surely the country cannot be allowed to progress in 2015 with the notion of one national agency and smaller spring-chickens fed on government and other doles while the second news agency was collapsing. The DUJ has sought an immediate appointment with both the Prime Minister and Labour Ministers at the centre and state to intervene to ensure that agencies like UNI and language and literary news and feature agencies are allowed to bloom, rather than become ploys in the prime land building boom in the centre and various states.
(S K Pande)
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