Guwahati: Journalists' Forum Assam (JFA) welcomes the Supreme Court's ruling on 19 June 2017 in favour of newspaper & news agency employees in the Majithia Wage Board dispute and the forum fervently appeals to the concerned media managements to obey the direction.
The scribe's body argues that the managements must not linger on the
implementation of Majithia board award for the benefit of journalists
& non-journalist media employees for more years. Otherwise, it would
only degrade the print media as an institution slowly slipping down to
the group of law- evaders in the country, it added.
It may be noted that the apex court's vacation bench of Justice Ranjan
Gogoi and Justice Navin Sinha passed the order directing the
newspaper owners to pay their employees according to the wages as
revised/determined by the Majithia board since 11 November 2011
without differentiating between the permanent (full-time) and
contractual employees in their establishments. Directing the media
house owners to implement the Majithia board award in full without
citing the reason of fund crisis, the bench observed that it would be
another opportunity for honouring the award in its proper spirit.
The Majithia Wage Board was constituted by the Union labour ministry
in 2007 despite oppositions from most of the newspaper houses in the
country. The Union cabinet accepted the recommendations of the wage
board four years back and the Gazette notification was published on 11
November 2011. The Supreme Court upheld the wage board award on 7
February 2014. Lately the apex court dismissed all writ petitions
moved by media managements against the award on 8 February last.
The JFA statement asserted that if most of the newspaper managements
in India continue ignoring the apex court directive, it would only
bring wrong messages to the readers (mass) about the medium. In this
case, the forum opined that the media house owners may follow the
example set by the Assam Tribune group, which implemented the Majithia
board recommendations for the first time in the country.
Finally, the statement issued JFA president Rupam Barua asked the beneficiaries too to cooperate with the managements in materializing the apex court's directives for a better future for the entire institution.