Nation-wide stir if INS opposes Wage Boards recommendations

New Delhi: Criticising the newspaper owners` "anti-worker" policies, an apex body of newspaper industry employees on Saturday warned of a nation-wide agitation if the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) opposed the recommendations of the Wage Boards.

"Today, newspaper employees are together and are capable of strongly opposing the anti-employee policies. We will go on a nation-wide agitation if necessary," the Confederation of Newspaper and News Agency Employees` Organisations said in a statement after holding an emergency meeting on this issue.

The Confederation, which is an apex body of the country`s five large federations of newspaper and news agency employees organisations, asked the government to ignore the anti-employee suggestions made by INS and immediately notify the recommendations of the Wage Boards and force the newspaper owners to implement the same.

The Wage Boards for Working Journalists and Non- Journalists and other newspaper employees had on December 31 last year submitted their report to the Government, recommending 2.5 to 3 times hike in basic pay among other suggestions. The recommendations have been proposed to be implemented from January 8, 2008.

Confederation General Secretary M S Yadav said: "Media plays an important role as the fourth pillar of Indian democracy. Therefore, 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."

Yadav said that Confederation has always believed that newspaper owners and their organisation INS runs on a "principle of exploitation" and it was not surprising that the INS has challenged the constitution and recommendations of the Wage Boards.

"INS`s opposition has made it clear that newspaper owners are against a justified wage structure for their journalists and non-journalist employees," he said.

The Confederation criticised INS for their opposition to the Majithia Wage Boards` recommendations after they were submitted to the government.

Yadav said that INS should remember that it was also part of the process of finalising the Wage Boards` recommendations and, therefore, it was bound to agree to the recommendations.

Today`s meeting was attended by National Union of Journalists (I) senior leader Dr N K Trikha, Indian Journalists Union President Suresh Akhouri, All India Newspaper Employees Federation General Secretary Madan Talwar, Federation of PTI Employees` Unions leader Ajay Tyagi and UNI Workers Union President M L Joshi.