The Delhi Union of Journalists has castigated the central and the state governments for taking no concrete measures to get the Wage Board for Journalists and press workers implemented. It has called upon all contesting political parties in the fray in Delhi to come out with a clear commitment to immediately set up a department against unfair labour practices and to save the wage board which though upheld by the apex court was being scuttled through a variety of machinations and subterfuges.
In a joint statement today the DUJ President and General Secretary charged that in open defiance of the Supreme Court judgment journalists and press workers were being coerced to accept lollipops and new forms of contract tantamount to making a mockery of the Working Journalists Act. Not only this, over 15 families in the Hindustan Times Group were victims of starvation despite a variety of judgments in their favour. It has noted that despite promises to the contrary right in the capital of the country jungle law had affected not only the print but the entire gamut of the media industry. There were even reports that plant union offices were being sealed and till date no tripartite machinery has been set up in Delhi despite exchange of letters between the Centre and the state.
At the recently held joint meeting of the Delhi Union of Journalists and the Delhi Press Unity Centre, it was resolved that since the central and the state governments had proved to be joint partners in inaction towards the problems faced by media workers, journalists and non-journalists, the two bodies would act in unison based on a common programme of unity working towards a national alliance on common issues. The Delhi charter calls for immediate promise of appointment of a Delhi Press Commission to go into the entire situation in the newspaper industry ranging from the plight of the employees to questions of freedom of the press and safety and security within the media. Not only this, at least in the capital, there could be a model media council with teeth unlike the present Press Council. This could pave the way for an all India media council and media commission. It also stressed the fact that contract labour in the newspaper industry had reduced freedom of the press to nothingness and the types of contracts in circulation were total infringement on the freedom of the press and were virtual weapons of mass destruction of whatever freedom remained in the press.
The Delhi charter also spoke of the dangers before the journalists in increasing cases both from press barons and the government.