Employees of newspapers and news agencies on Friday held nation-wide protest dharnas against the Centre’s failure to notify the recommendations of wage board for journalists and non-journalists.

In the national capital, hundreds of media persons staged sit-in in front of the Congress headquarters demanding that the Congress-led UPA government should notify the Majithia wage board recommendations without any further delay.

Similar demonstrations were organised in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Patna, Lucknow, Jaipur, Hyderabad and other State capitals.

The agitation was organised by Confederation of Newspaper and News Agency Employees’ Organisations (CNNAEO) comprising of Federation of PTI Employees Union, UNI Workers Union, leading national bodies-AINEF, NUJI, IJU and IFWJ.

The protesters dispersed only after Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi assured the CNNAEO delegation that he would convey the demand of journalists and non-journalists of newspapers and news agencies for early notification of the wage boards report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

‘Government under influence’

Addressing the protesters, CNNAEO Convenor M. S. Yadav criticised the “dilly-dallying” attitude of the government on wage revision for journalists and non-journalists under “influence” of the media house owners.

Mr. Yadav warned if the government failed to notify the wage boards report soon, the Confederation would give a call for nation-wide strike of newspaper and news agency employees.

He also charged the opposition BJP with paying only a “lip service” to the cause of media persons and threatened to launch agitation against that party too.

Mr. Yadav and other CNNAEO leaders wondered why Manmohan Singh Cabinet was not notifying the wage boards recommendations despite the Supreme Court saying it can always consider the issue.

In Bangalore, a demonstration was staged in front of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee office demanding its intervention in pressurising the UPA Government to notify the wage board recommendations.

A memorandum was submitted to KPCC president G. Parameshwara, who assured that he would write to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Union Labour Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge for taking steps to notify the wage board recommendations.

In Thiruvananthapuram, a joint delegation of Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) and Kerala Newspapers Employees Federation (KNEF) met KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala and submitted a memorandum expressing concern over the delay in notifying the recommendations of the wage boards.

Mr. Chennithala assured the delegation that he would bring the matter to the notice of the party chief.