Mrs. Shobhana Bhartia,
Chairperson and Editorial Director,
Hindustan Times Group.
On behalf of and under the instructions from 200 employees of Hindustan Times Media Limited and Hindustan Media Venture Limited, in the state of Bihar, I serve you the following notice-:
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 according to Indian Readership Survey, for the first quarter of 2011- the English Daily – ‘Hindustan Times’ has a reader base of about 3.7 million readers across India and the Hindi – ‘Hindustan’ is the 2nd largest daily in the country with a total readership of about 36.6 million reader and according to the claims of HTML, both the newspapers are said to enjoy a strong brand recognition among the readers as well as the advertisers.
That the conditions of service of working journalists and 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 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 an 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.
You are, therefore, requested and advised to immediately comply with the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India as has been given in the WP © 246 of 2011 and immediately implement the recommendations of the Wage Boards by paying the salary to all employees in accordance with the Wage Board awards. The process of payment of arrears also must start immediately without any further delay. However, if not done within a period 15 days of receipt of this notice, I will be left with no choice but to move in accordance with the course of law.
A Copy of the notice is also being served to the following :
Mr. Rajiv Verma, Chief Executive Officer, HT Media Ltd..
Mr. Sharad Saxena, Executive Director and Human Resource Head, HT Media Ltd.
Mr. Vivek Khanna, Chief Executive Officer, Hindustan Media Ventures Ltd.
Mr. Rakesh Singh Gautam, Human Resource Head, Hindustan Media Venture Ltd.
Mr. Shorab Khan, Regional Human Resource Head, HT Media Ltd.
A copy of the notice is retained in the office for future record.