Notices to govt., media houses over job, pay cuts
Newspapers have ignored government guidelines, PM’s appeal, says petition
The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court has issued notices to the Union, and State government and media houses, seeking their response to a plea challenging termination and forceful resignation of employees of newspaper organisations.
A Division Bench of Justices Sunil B. Shukre and Anil S. Kilor was hearing a petition filed by the Maharashtra Union of Working Journalists and Nagpur Union of Working Journalists.
The plea has challenged terminations, retrenchment, reduction in salaries, forceful resignations, and pay structures contrary to the Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Condition of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act and Majithia Wage Board recommendations.
The petition said, “Newspaper organisations have ignored the appeal made by the Prime Minister to protect the interests of employees, and mandatory guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Labour Department and Chief Secretary.”
The 275-page petition says that some newspaper managements, citing losses, have expelled hundreds of employees in an illegal manner and have also cut salaries, which violates statutory provisions and government guidelines.
The unions urged the court to restrain newspaper managements from continuing to remove journalists and reduce their salaries.
Respondents to the plea are the Union government through the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs; State government through the Chief Secretary; Labour Department Principal Secretary; Indian Newspaper Society; Vidarbha Daily Newspaper Association; and managements of Lokmat, Times of India and Maharashtra Times, Sakal, Deshonnati, Nav Bharat, Dainik Bhaskar, Indian Express, Loksatta and Lokshahi Varta. The matter will be heard after four weeks.