The Secretary, Govt. of India,
Department of Labour & Employment,
Shram Shakti Bhawan, New Delhi
Subject : Non-implementation of Majithia Wage Board Award — Deliberate & Glaring Violation of the orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court by the Newspaper Houses in BIHAR.
With pain and anguish the Bihar Working Journalists Union, Dakshini Mandiri Patna want to bring to your kind notice that so far no newspaper establishment has fully implemented the recommendations of the Majithia Wage Board in the State of Bihar in the light of the recent Majithia Wage Board Case judgement of the Supreme Court Of India. It is also found that no salary arrears as per Majithia Wage Board has been paid to the employees so far.
For your ready Reference I am quoting Section 2 of WORKING JOURNALISTS AND OTHER NEWSPAPER EMPLOYEES
(CONDITION OF SERVICE) AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS ACT, 1955 (N0. 45 OF 1955)1
(20th December, 1955)
An Act to regulate certain conditions of service of working journalists and
other persons employed in newspaper establishments.
It goes below :
2. Definitions.– In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-
in relation to working journalists, the Wage Board constituted under section 9; and
(ii) in relation to non-journalists newspaper employees, the Wage
Board constituted under section 13-C;]
(b) “newspaper” means any printed periodical work containing public
news or comments on public news and includes such other class of printed
periodical work as may, from time to time, be notified in this behalf by the Central Government in the Official Gazette;
(c) “newspaper employee” means any working journalist, and includes any other person employed to do any work in or in relation to any newspaper establishment;
(d) “newspaper establishment” means an establishment under the control of any As per Working Journalists Act Section 2 (d) 2. Definitions.– In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires- 4[(a)”Board” means –
(i)person or body of persons, whether incorporated or not, for the production or publication of one or more newspaper or for conducting any news agency or syndicate; 5[and includes newspaper establishments specified as one establishment under the Schedule.
Explanation: – For the purposes of this clause-
(a) different departments, branches and centres of newspaper
establishments shall be treated as parts thereof,-
(b) a printing press shall be deemed to be a newspaper establishment if the principal business thereof is to print newspaper]
1 Published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Pt.II, Sec I, No. 60, dated the 21st December, 1955.
2 Subs by Act 60 of 1974, sec. 2
3 Omitted by Act 51 of 1970, sec. 2 and Schedule for the words ’except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
4 subs. by Act 60 of 1974, Sec. 3.
5 Ins. by Act 31 of 1989, sec.2.
The glaring example is of the leading newspaper house, Bennett Colleman & Company (BCCL) – the publisher of The Times Of India Group Of Publications has given its Times Of India (TOI) Patna Unit employees the Grade III pay scale which is much lower than the Pay Scale given to the TOI employees in its Delhi, Mumbai and other units. Which is clear cut violation of Section 2(d) of the Working Journalist Act i.e. the Act governing the working condition of the newspaper establishments.
Consequently The TOI Patna employees have to suffer a great loss in respect to the payment of their salary arrears. It has also been learnt that in TOI Patna, the Times Of India Management has also great injustice to their journalist and non-journalist employees in fitment too. They have not fitted them properly and have deliberately denied the TOI Patna employees their due promotions with effect from 11.11.2011 – the date which has been fixed by Supreme Court for implementation of Majitihia Wage Board.
Similar is the case with all the other big newspaper houses operating in the state of Bihar like HT Media Limited, Dainik Jagran Management, Prabhat Khabar management and so on and so forth. This is just tip of the ice-berg of the plight of the newspaper industry employees- be it the journalist or the non-journalists.
It has come to our knowledge that the newspaper house managements have resorted to intimidation and other forms of arms twisting so that employees could not muster courage to demand their due even through the unions.
It is well known that the record of the Bihar Govt. in respect to enforcement of the wage boards upon the newspaper establishments is most poor.
It will not be out of place to mention here That the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India vide its judgment dated 07.02.2014 to implement the recommendations of the Wage Board held as under :-
“THE WAGES AS REVISED/DETERMINED SHALL BE PAYABLE FROM 11.11.2011 WHEN THE GOVT. OF INDIA NOTIFIED THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE MAJITHIA WAGE BOARD. ALL THE ARREARS UPTO MARCH, 2014 SHALL BE PAID TO ALL ELIGIBLE PERSONS IN FOUR EQUAL INSTALLMENTS WITHIN A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR FROM TODAY AND CONTINUE TO PAY THE REVISED WAGES FROM APRIL, 2014 ON WARDS.”
But no Newspaper establishment has truthfully enforced the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the Apex Court and have willfully and deliberately committed the offence of contempt of the apex court by violating its order and has virtually taken into their hand the law of the land.
That in case the Union Govt.and its Labour Department fails to take effective steps to get the award implemented, it is feared that the Majithia Wage Board would meet the fate what their predecessors have had to meet. The government should plunge into action to see to it that the newspaper industry employees are paid their legal dues and due promotions and the Majithia Wage Board Case Supreme Court Order is honoured and implemented in toto. The government should focus its inquiry to see to it on the points mentioned below :
a) Whether Proper Classification of the respective newspaper establishments has been done or not ?
b) Whether proper Fitment of the employees as per fitment rules have been done or not in respect to salary fixation and promotions ?
c) Whether Arrears have been paid to the employees or not ?
d) Majithia Wage Board has so far been implemented or not which ought to be implemented from 01.04.2014.
e) Whether 30% interim relief pronounced by the Majithia Wage Board which was required to be given w.e.f. 08.01.2008 was given to the employees or not ?
It is, therefore, requested that the effective steps may kindly be taken to get the award implemented without further loss of time.
It is further prayed that defaulter newspaper establishments be taken to book and not given any govt. advertisement Union or State, until they implement the awards above said.
Bihar Working Journalists Union, Dakshini Mandiri, Patna
The Times Of India Newspaper Employees Union
Fraser Road, Patna-800001
Mobile : 919430619508
Copy to :-
c.c: 1. Mr. Justice R.M. Lodha,
Hon’ble Chief Justice of India,