The chairman of the Wage Boards for the working journalists and other employees of the newspapers/news agencies, Justice Gurbax Rai Majithia, on Thursday said, “My mind is clear and I hope the government will accept my recommendations.”

Talking to The Hindu, he said that as per his recommendations, the basic salary of a journalist/other employee would move up by 2.5-2.85 times if the recommendation was accepted and implemented by the government.

“For example, if the basic monthly salary of a person is Rs.100, it will go up to Rs.350-Rs.385, depending upon his designation; this is applicable to journalists as well as other employees of the newspapers/news agencies,” he said.

Sources in the Wage Board expressed surprise and shock on the decision of the employers' representatives on the Board not to approve the recommendations and sign the final report.

“They participated in five discussions held for preparing the final report and even said on December 29, 2010, that they will come and sign the final report in the presence of Board Chairman on the next day at 2 p.m. But they did not turn up. Instead, they had sent a communication stating that they were protesting against the final report which they alleged was supportive of the journalists/other employees,” sources added.

However, the Board had sent the copy of the final report to each of the three representatives of the employers in the Wage Board for journalists as well as for other employees.

Plan to get a stay

The sources also hinted that some of the managements were planning to approach court to get a stay on the implementation of the final recommendations.

The Confederation of Newspaper and News Agency Employees' Organisations, an apex body of five large federations of newspaper industries/news agencies' employees, had earlier criticised some managements for practising “anti-worker” policies and warned of a nationwide agitation if they opposed the recommendations.

They wanted the government to immediately notify the recommendations and force the newspaper owners to implement them.

Confederation general secretary M. S. Yadav had said: “It is necessary that journalists and non-journalist employees are financially independent. In this context, the constitution of Wage Board by the government plays an important role.”

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