Attacks on Media
IJU Expresses Concern Over Rising Layoffs in Media09 Oct, 2019
On World Day for Decent Work, the Indian Journalists Union expressed grave concern over the rising layoffs in the media sector, which the owners and managements justify as an offshoot of the economic slowdown. The trend is across the board in print, television and digital media with labour laws being thrown to the winds and an independent press too becoming a victim.
The IJU sought to draw the attention of the Union government that the contractual system of employment in the media sector played havoc with security of jobs, which the Wage Board provided. Over a 1000 jobs are said to have been lost in the last year and while some take recourse to the courts to get justice, others are left at the mercy of their employers with no retrenchment package coming their way.
In a statement, IJU Acting President Geetartha Pathak and Secretary General and IFJ Vice President Sabina Inderjit said the layoffs had a direct impact on good and independent journalism as without a secure job, the work force would be compelled by sheer economics to make compromises. The IJU urged the Government to ensure that the proposed labour codes did not subsume the Working Journalists Act, as the media could not be compared with any other industry and that both electronic and digital media be brought under the Act’s ambit.
At the same time, the IJU called upon journalists to strengthen the media trade union movement to put a halt to the anti-labour policies of the managements and to fight for their rights. “Precarious work in not inevitable, so join unions and prove them wrong!”, the IJU statement said.