HELPLESS OF GOVERNMENTS BEFORE NEWSPAPER OWNERS IS SHOCKING

Throwing all labour laws to the wind, the proprietors of Dainik Bhaskar have shifted their Delhi office to Rewari in Haryana. Their primary objective is to harass and victimize the employees and deny them the Majithia Award. Almost all employees of Dainik Bhaskar have demanded the implementation of Majithia Award by giving in writing to the labour commissioner. Many of the employees have also filed the contempt petition in the Supreme Court against the management for not implementing the Award.

This matter is in the notice of the Government of Delhi. Even the Delhi Labour Minister Gopal Rai has been apprised of the developments by a delegation of the journalists led by the President of the Delhi Union of Working Journalists Chandan Rai, who is also a senior sub-editor in Dainik Bhaskar. He gave a patient hearing to the delegation and asked the Labour Commissioner and other officials to immediately intervene in the matter but nothing has been done so far.

The Bhaskar Management has surreptitiously shifted the office in the dead of the night from Delhi to Rewari. When the regular employees went to the office in the morning they found to their shock that the office was closed and heavy lock was hanging on the door. This act of the management is totally against the provisions of the labour laws because they are required to obtain the permission of the appropriate government before shifting the office. But here in this case they behaved more like thieves than a honorable owner of the newspaper. What is all the more shocking is that the Delhi Government has raise its hands in despair is now expressing its helplessness. It is really not understandable why the government is feeling helpless and not taking any action against the management of the Dainik Bhaskar by attaching their property at various places across the country?

Even otherwise, also the management cannot change the service conditions of the employees when a case is pending against it. Here a number of litigation is pending in different courts against the management of the Dainik Bhaskar including the Supreme Court of India. Thus, the mala fide of the management is as clear as daylight and yet it is going scot-free. What could be more ironical?

It is regrettable indeed that the governments only pay lip service to the workers but their actions always go to the benefits of the owners. The Central Government just brushes aside from any responsibility by saying that this is a state subject. But how many times the Central Government has taken any interest in reminding the State Governments that they should prevail upon the managements to abide by the laws of the land? To the best of our information no such effort has been made by the Central Government till date.

The Central Government has not even replied the memorandums of unions. The employees feel so dejected that if the governments cannot help the workers what is the justification of having them at all and spend the enormous amount of tax payers money on them? If this is the state of affairs then it will be better that the Labour departments of all states and the Union Labour Ministry should close its shop and let the workers take their own decisions in their own way.

Parmanand Pandey
Secretary General
IFWJ



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