Shri Narendra Modi
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
Sub.: Exploitation, victimization and harassment of the Dainik Jagran employees
Hon’ble Pradhan Mantri ji,
We write to you with pain and anguish over the exploitation and victimization of newspaper employees by their proprietors that has crossed all limits. The saddest part of it is that the Governments- Central as well as the States- have become the mute spectators to this sordid state-of-affairs.
We would like to state that as provided in the Working Journalist Act, the Central Government has been appointing the Wage Boards for revising the pays and allowances of newspaper employees from time to time. Right from the enactment of the Working Journalist Act in 1955, the Central Government has constituted six Wage Boards till date. The last Wage Board was setup in the year 2008, which submitted its report on 31st December 2010 but before it could be notified by the then Government, the proprietors of the newspapers challenged it in the Supreme Court. After marathon hearings, the Supreme Court decided the case in the favour of the employees and directed the newspaper proprietors to implement it from 11.11.2011. However, the newspaper owners did not pay any heed to the judgment passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The governments have also done very little to get the Award implemented.
Not finding any way out the employees of different newspapers filed contempt petitions in the Supreme Court. The proprietors of the newspapers instead of obeying the order of the Supreme Court fielded scores of top advocates including Shri Kapil Sibal, Shri Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Shri Salman Khursheed, Shri Dushant R. Dave, Shri Gopal Jain, Shri Venugopal and Shri P.P. Rao etc. who openly declared that the newspaper proprietors were not obliged to implement the Award.
The Hon’ble Court, however, took cognizance of the case and on 28th April 2015 directed all State Governments to file the status of the implementation of the Majithia Award.
What is most shocking for all of us is that the proprietors of Dainik Jagran have been browbeating the employees by showing the proximity with you, the Hon’ble Prime Minister. Owners of this newspaper, known for their notoriety of being the worst exploiters, have been openly saying that they would not honour the labour laws or even the judgement of the Supreme Court. They have been arbitrarily suspending, transferring and terminating the employees. The only fault of the employees is they have been demanding the Majithia Award and for that, they have approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.
It is even more baffling for the newspaper employees, why the Governments – Central as well as States- are keeping silent over it? The employees have met the Central Labour Minister Shri Bandaru Duttatreya and have also appealed to the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh to help them in getting the Award implemented but not even a leaf of the governments has moved or turned to help the employees. In the last fifteen days this newspaper have terminated outrightly in clear violation of the labour laws to more than two dozen employees, who have been working at different centres of the newspaper. More than 350 employees have been suspended and dozens have been transferred to far away places without any facilities. The families of the most of the employees are on the verge of the starvation because they have been not getting even their old wages for many months.
Therefore, Respected Pradhan Mantri ji, this is an SOS to you to save the employees and their families otherwise; many of them would be compelled to commit suicide. We request you to prevail upon the owners of the newspapers to implement the Justice Majithia Award.
Looking forward towards you for saving the employees of Dainik Jagran from hunger and starvation,
With warm regards,
Secretary General – IFWJ