Delhi Court reinstates 272 media workers24 Nov, 2014
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists, India (NUJI) in welcoming the Delhi High Court verdict ordering The Hindustan Times to reinstate 272 media workers 7 years after the newspaper arbitrarily sacked them.
Justice Suresh Kait on November 17 termed the termination of 272 employees as arbitrary and upheld the January 23, 2012 judgement by the Industrial Tribunal granting the media workers reinstatement with back wages of 9 years. The Hindustan Times management had appealed the Tribunal judgement at the Delhi High Court.
The High Court order stated: “Reinstatement with full back wages is the proper relief to which the workmen are entitled, especially when their termination from services nine years back was based on a fictitious/sham transaction.” It also noted sadly that 13 media workers have already passed away while fighting for their rights.
It further added: “In case the relief of back wages is denied to the workmen, it would tantamount to placing a premium on the fraudulent conduct of the management which by its order of dismissal has virtually deprived hundreds of workmen of right to life and livelihood.”
The Hindustan Times had dismissed the workers en masse alleging misbehaviour and other vires when the workers were agitating for certain demands in October 2014.
The IFJ , the NUJI and the DUJ hail the order and congratulate all the media workers who have endured a long struggle for justice.
The NUJI president U Laxman and secretary-general Prasanna Mohanty said in a statement: “The members of journalists and media workers trade unions should take heart from these developments and be assured that workers can improve their working conditions even in the face of managements trying to deny them even basic justice. The struggle may be long and agonizing but success is bound to come at the end of the struggle.”
The IFJ and the NUJI also urge the media houses to implement the Working Journalists Act that gives journalists and employees protection against arbitrary action by managements like dismissal, victimization and transfers.
The Delhi Union of Journalists has also welcomed the judgement and demanded that the Hindustan Times management implement the verdict immediately. The judgement, the DUJ believed, will strengthen the workers’ resolve to struggle for implementation of their rights.
Jane Worthington, the acting director of the IFJ Asia-Pacific said: “The justice has been delivered and the IFJ urges the media management to immediately adhere to it. The IFJ congratulates the workers for the success of their struggle that had set an example for establishing the workers’ rights.”