The character of the print media industry has changed in many ways, with a large percentage of workers shifting from repetitive, mechanical tasks to knowledge tasks, K. Balaji, Managing Director, Kasturi and Sons Limited, publishers of The Hindu, observed on Wednesday.

With these changes happening in the industry, some of the practices that have governed employer-employee in the past might not be valid, he said while speaking at the 54th anniversary of The Hindu Office and National Press Employees' Union in the city. He commended the union for having forged a strong partnership with the management for four decades, adding that this was a key factor in the organisation reaching its current position. The organisation was taking initiatives to move to a higher trajectory of growth, he said and expressed hope that employees would be aware of, and, execute, their roles.

A bridge

M. Kamalanathan, General Secretary of the employees' union, said the union would continue to be a bridge between the employees and the management. The management had accepted a slew of demands, starting with enhanced bonus, he said and stressed the importance of continuing to maintain a cordial relationship between the union and the management.

E. Gopal, President of the union, said they were extremely happy with the way the agreements had been reached. Pointing out that this was the first time the union had held negotiations with the current management, he praised the three-member directors' team representing the Board, Mr. Balaji, Dr. Nalini Krishnan, and Mr. Ramesh Rangarajan, for being forthcoming, friendly and accommodative.

N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief, The Hindu, recalled his association with the union and the quality of leadership which had served the interests of union members very well. He praised the current leadership of the union for negotiating a good agreement and for galvanising all the members of the team to work together and meet challenges. He stressed that so far as relations with the union were concerned, there was a continuity of management policy. “We will build on the good work and successes of the past,” he added.

Mr. Ram observed that if justice, equity, mutual respect, and civility were the principles governing union-management relations, the organisation would do well and this had been demonstrated in the company.

Martin Thomas, Joint Secretary, proposed a vote of thanks.