IFJ Hails Indian Supreme Court Decision on Majithia Wage Board Recommendations10 Feb, 2014
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliates the Indian Journalist Union (IJU) and the National Union of Journalists India (NUJI) commend the Supreme Court of India’s decision to uphold a new pay structure for newspaper journalists, in line with the Majithia Wage Board Recommendations of 2011.
According to the NUJI President Uppala Laxman, the outcome is a significant victory for Indian media workers after a 12-year struggle with newspaper employers who have strongly petitioned against the revision.
“The victory comes at a time when employers have been pressuring the government to deny workers their due under the pretext of globalisation and liberalisation,” Mr Laxman said. “The Government has done the right thing to stand by workers in upholding the Majithia Boards’ recommendations with minor modifications.”
In a statement issued in New Delhi, IJU President S N Sinha and Secretary General Devulapalli Amarcommended the Supreme Court Judgment saying it was a clear victory for working journalists and other newspaper employees. The IJU urged the Central and State Government to ensure a speedy implementation of the Supreme Court order.
“State governments must immediately take steps to force erring employers to fall in line and see that the recommendations of the wage boards are implemented fully. State governments should also immediately activate the Tri-partite Committees to oversee the implementation of the statutory wages to all working journalists including the rural journalists,” The IJU said.
On February 7, the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, called for a new pay structure in line with the Majithia Wage Board Recommendations to be implemented from April 2014. Arrears are to be backdated to November 11, 2011 and are tobe paid within a year in four instalments.
Under the 2011 recommendations, working journalists in the highest class of newspaper establishment, comprising companies with gross annual revenues of more than Indian rupees USD$160,000 would have basic monthly wages ranging from USD$209 to USD$402 and other newspaper staff, between USD$145 and USD$282. The basic wage would be augmented by a partial compensation for inflation and a house rent allowance. Journalists working in challenging environments would be eligible for a “hardship allowance”. A “night-shift allowance” and “transport allowance” were also been proposed.
Amongst the petitioners against the wage revision were the publisher of The Times of India, the publisher of AnandabazarPatrika and the Indian Newspaper Society.
The IFJ welcomes the decision as a great victory for newspaper employees, journalists and non-journalists who fought against these attempts by employers to block it.
“The Supreme Court of India has upheld the legal principle on the right to wage increase and revision in the face of extreme pressure from employers. This is a right that should not have taken 12 years to achieve if media employers had stood by their obligations but justice has finally been served,” the IFJ said.
The IFJ applauds the victory and says it sets a strong precedent on future cases in the region.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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