IJU National Executive Committee Meeting
Ahmedabad, Gujrat, August 21-22, 2005
The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalist Union (IJU), which met at Ahmedabad on August 21-22, 2005, reiterated the demand for the constitution of a fresh Wage Board to review, revise the salaries and other emoluments of working journalists and other newspaper and News agency employees. The meeting urged the Government to honour its commitment without any further ado and decided to launch an agitation jointly with other newspaper employee organisations to secure the demand.
The other major issues that dominated the discussions included the illegal, arbitrary and uncalled for sack of 362 permanent Hindustan Times employees on Gandhi Jayanti, the proliferation of the contract system and its impact on Wage Board-governed journalists, and the nefarious role played by the FDI in print media.
The NEC welcomed the formation of the confederation of Newspaper and News Agencies employee's organizations and endorsed the efforts made by the IJU office bearers in promoting and supporting this move.
Hosted by the Gujarat Journalists Union (GJU), the meeting was presided over by the IJU President Suresh Akhouri.
Media Commission & Amendments to the WJA: The meeting was sharply critical of the Government's failure to concede the IJU's demands to set up a Media Commission and to amend the Working Journalists Act (WJA) with a view to a) bringing the electronic media journalists and web within its ambit, b) abolishing the contract system, and c) enhancing the punishment for non-implementation of statutory wage board awards, etc.
It also set up a committee with the IJU Secretary General K.Sreenivas Reddy as convener, to make a comprehensive draft proposal for amendments to the WJA and circulate it among all State unions before finalising it for presenting to the Government as a concrete demand. The following are members of the committee, besides Com Reddy: Comrades D. S. Ravindra Doss (Tamil Nadu), Geetartha Pathak (Assam), Prem Nath Bhargava and Dinesh Chandra (Delhi) and Arun Kumar (Bihar).
Earlier discussing the issue, member after member emphasised the need for such amendments to the WJA since newspaper managements were out to scuttle the Wage Board machinery through the contract system. By employing this stratagem, they were easing out regular employees and replacing them by 'contract journalists', who were deprived of the job security and other rights and privileges guaranteed to working journalists by the WJA and other statutes. They were, thus, usurping to themselves the right to "hire and fire" journalists arbitrarily and at will and holding the freedom of the Press to ransom.
For a fresh Wage Board: During its discussions on the demand for the constitution of a fresh Wage Board for Working Journalists and other newspaper employees, the members regretted that the Government was not implementing even the repeated assurances of its Ministers that they would be setting up the board soon. This clearly showed that the Government was hand in gloves with the employers and allowing them to make a mockery of labour laws.
While urging the Government to set up the fresh Wage Board urgently, the meeting decided to launch a struggle jointly with other unions and authorised the IJU President and Secretary General to make a proposal to the effect to the Confederation of Newspaper and News Agency Employees Organizations.
The meeting expresses serious concern over the ban imposed on promotion of the Wage Board-governed journalist in various newspapers in country by newspaper managements and demanded that all such journalist be given their due promotions. Also appeals to the Government to introduce of an assured career-promotion scheme for the journalists governed by Wage Board awards.
Illegal sack of 362 Hindustan Times comrades: Opening the discussion on the illegal and arbitrary sack of as many as 362 regular employees of the Hindustan Times on Gandhi Jayanti day last year, Com Akhouri condemned it as a slap in the face of the law of the land. Describing it as a challenge to the country's working journalists, Com Reddy called upon the community to defeat this onslaught on Hindustan Times workers lest it emboldens other managements to indulge in similar misadventures.
The IJU treasure S. N. Sinha, who is also General Secretary of the H.T employees union reported in detail the boorish way the H. T. management had acted and the way the Hindustan Times Employees Union was carrying on the struggle against the nefarious designs of the management to use the FDI as a ruse to attack its regular employees.
The NEC decided to rally effectively in the support of the struggling H. T. employees and observe October 2 as Solidarity Day since that would mark the completion of one year of their struggle. The meeting also authorised the office-bearers to call upon the Confederation to launch a joint struggle in support of H. T. employees.
All State unions were requested to draw up their own programmes to observe the day, hold demonstrations, and otherwise lodge their protest against the wanton victimisation of H T employees.
Concern over growth of media monopolies: Discussing the role of the FDI in the print media, the NEC expressed its serious concern over the growing trend of inter-linking of newspapers and the formation of complex networks of Indian and foreign monopoly newspapers. The trend posed a threat not only to the interests of the country's working journalists but also to national security and sovereignty, it said and called for urgent steps to reverse the trend.
The meeting regretted that the Tamil Nadu Government had failed to implement a scheme to assist the bereaved families of journalists that Chief Minister Jayalalitha had announced with much fanfare in her Budget speech in the State Assembly. According to the scheme, the Government would grant an assistance of Rs 200,000 to the bereaved families of working journalists on their death, but the scheme remained a dead letter until recently, when the assistance was provided to the families of just three journalists, all related to the ruling party print and electronic media. The committee regretted such discriminatory implementation of the scheme and called for its uniform application in all cases.
By another resolution, the committee congratulated the Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ) on securing withdrawal of Chief Minister Y. Rajasekhara Reddy's statement warning mediapersons against interviewing extremist leaders since that constituted a "culpable offence". The media, on the other hand, should report to the State government whatever information it collected about their activities, he had said. The IJU had condemned the statement as an attack on the freedom of the Press.
Move for Indo-Pak Confederation of Newspaper Employees: The meeting discussed the proposal made by Pakistani journalists for the formation of an Indo-Pak Confederation of Newspaper and News Agency Employees' organizations. The NEC welcomed the proposal and decided to support all the efforts in this regard.
Solidarity with Nepalese journalists: The NEC condemned the brutal attacks by the security forces on journalists in Nepal and called upon all the State unions to observe August 30 as the "Global day of action for Press freedom in Nepal" on the call of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
Europe and India: Building Paths to Equality in Journalism Project: The meeting heard in full detail the reports of the IJU office-bearers involved in discussions with the IFJ representative on this project, as well as Ms Sabina Inderjit and came to the conclusion that the IFJ had not been fair to the IJU. The way the IFJ leadership, Mr Aidan White (General Secretary IFJ) in particular, had acted in the matter left the NEC in no doubt that their approach was biased against the IJU and that they had unilaterally changed their India partners only to "punish" the IJU for its display of independence. It was clearly a case of bias or, at best, one of lack of communication.
The committee fully endorsed the position taken by the IJU leadership in the matter and resolved to disassociate itself completely from the project.
The meeting calls upon the IFJ to evolve a detailed code of relationship between the two organizations through a dialogue, or some other suitable mechanism, to ensure that, if desired, our future relationship rests on a stronger basis; AND that the outcome of the deliberation would help the IJU formulating its future relations with the IFJ.
those who participated in the discussions where Comrades D. S. Ravindra Doss
(Tamil Nadu), Geetartha Pathak (Assam), Madan Singh, Prem Nath Bhargava and
Dinesh Chandra (Delhi), Arun Kumar and Bhola Nath(Bihar) , M.A.Mazid and A.Anajneyulu(A.P),
Vinod Kohali(Chandigarh), K.B.Pandit(Haryana), B.R.Prajapati(Gujrat) and Mazhar
Elections: The meeting decided to discuss the issue of organisational elections and draw up a programme for these at the next meeting of the NEC to be held in November.
Call to prepare for struggle: Com Suresh Akhouri and Com Sreenivas Reddy discussed in detail the country's political situation and the state of the newspaper industry and working journalists. The situation was worsening by the day in so far as the working class, particularly newspaper employees, was concerned, they said and called upon the community to get in readiness for a struggle to press the demands for a fresh wage board and abolition of the contract system.
They also called upon the State unions to prepare for hard struggles, by forming joint fronts with other newspaper employees' unions in their respective States
The IJU President
thanked the Gujarat Journalists Union (GJU) for the pains it had taken in
making excellent arrangements for the meeting even at such a short notice.
Com B. R. Prajapati, president of the GJU highlighted the problems of journalists
The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) meeting at Ahmedabad on 21st and 22nd 2005 strongly demands that Government of India should immediately set up new wage Board for journalists and non-journalist employees of the newspaper industry. The last wage board, headed by Justice Manisana Singh was constituted in September 1994 after the journalists under the leadership of Indian Journalists Union launched a massive agitation. As a matter of fact, the then Government which was not heeding the long pending demands of the journalists for wage board was forced to announce the setting up of the wage board, after the journalists boycotted the budget speech of the then Finance Minister and the present Prime Minister Mr. Man Mohan Singh and the newspaper employees struck work on that day forcing the populace of the National Capital Delhi go without their daily newspaper with budget news the next day.
It is already about seven years since the Manisana Wage Board recommendations came into force. In the meantime the real wages of the journalists were getting fast eroded. There is a lot of discontentment among the journalists and non-journalist employees of the newspaper industry on this score. It is high time new wage board is constituted without any further loss of time.
On 19th April 2005, the journalists and other newspaper employees under the banner of National Confederation of newspaper employees' organizations held a massive rallies throughout the countries demanding the setting up of new wage board. Inspite of repeated assurances of the Union labour Minister Mr. K.Chandrasekhar Rao and the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mr. S.Jaipal Reddy inside and outside the Parliament that new wage board would be constituted soon, nothing has happened so far. Even the Standing Committee of Parliament on Labour strongly recommended formation of a new Wage Board for the journalists and newspaper employees.
The National Executive committee of the Indian Journalists Union urges upon the Government of India to immediately announce the setting up of the wage board for journalists and other newspaper employees before they come on to the streets to give vent to their anger and frustration.
NEC of the IJU calls upon all the national level organizations of the journalists
and other newspaper employees to intensify their struggle under the banner
of National Confederation of Newspaper and news agencies employees to force
the Central Government to constitute new wage board.
in the working Journalists Act.
The National Executive Committee of Indian Journalists Union (IJU) meeting at Ahmedabad on August 21st and 22nd 2005 urges upon the Government of India to bring comprehensive amendments to the Working Journalists and other newspaper employees Act to bring it in tune with the changing times. The Act, which was passed by the Parliament in 1955, has become archaic. In the last half century since the Act came into force, the media scenario changed beyond recognition.
New forms of media like 24 hours news channels and Internet media came into vogue in the last ten years. The Working Journalists Act covers only the journalists and others employees of the print media of the print media. As a matter of fact, the journalists and other employees of the new generation media have no law to regulate their working conditions, security of tenure or wages.
The Indian Journalists Union urges upon the Government of India to bring comprehensive amendments in the Working Journalists Act to cover all the journalists and other employees of all forms media whether print, electronics and web under its purview after discussing the matter with the representatives of the working journalists and other newspaper employees unions.
Since Contract Labour Act prohibits employment in perennial industries on contract basis. The working journalist act suitability to prohibit employment of journalist and other employees in media in contract basis.
on Media Commission
The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) meeting at Ahmedabad on August 21st and 22nd 2005 notes that media scenario in the country has undergone enormous changes since the first and second Press commissions. After the second press commission submitted its report in 1982, information technology changed the face of the media in the world. In the last two decades since second press commission submitted its report, electronic and Internet media came on the scene in our country changing the way the news is disseminated and brought many problems in their wake.
Further, there is a strong feeling in the democratic polity that the newspapers are drifting away from their social responsibility. They are being more and commercialized. The commercial interests are taking precedence over the editorial content in the newspapers. The interference of business managers in the domain of news desk is on the increase. With the contract system of employment for journalists, the threat to freedom of press is becoming more pronounced. The tribe of news managers is sprouting up on the media scene. The mushrooming 24-hour news channels are trivializing and sensationalizing news to attract eyeballs. In their eagerness to reach the people before their rivals, channels are dishing out inaccurate and unconfirmed news.
The recommendations of the first and second press commissions over de-linking of ownership of newspapers from the big business and on the issue of cross media ownership were not implemented. The big newspapers with deep pockets are squeezing out the medium and small newspapers from the market by price wars.
In these circumstances, the Indian Journalists Union strongly feels that a new media commission should be appointed to go into whole gamut of issues concerning the media, electronic, Internet and print. It should also go into the editorial freedom from the prying managements and the freedom of the press in general.
National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) strongly
urges upon the Government of India to immediately constitute third Media Commission
to define the contours of free press and the mode of the newspaper ownership.
On Europe And India: Building Paths To Equality In Journalism
HAVING CONSIDERED in great detail and deliberated upon
" the manner in which the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) first offered in Sept 2003 to and later, after quite some preliminary work had been done, unceremoniously and summarily withdrew from the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) this year the EU project on Europe and India: Building Path of Equality in Journalism;
" the way the IFJ Secretary General Aidan White obviously scouted for a new project partner without taking the IJU into confidence and negotiated with another Indian affiliate an agreement behind the back of the IJU before withdrawing the project from the IJU;
" the reports of the office-bearers, including President Suresh Akhouri and Secretary General K. Sreenivas Reddy, besides Ms Sabina Inderjit, the project coordinator nominated by the IJU Executive Committee at its Hyderabad meeting in Sept 18-19, 2004 on the talks they had had with Mr Aidan White on different occasions;
" the entire correspondence on the subject exchanged between the IJU leadership and Mr Aidan White; AS ALSO
" the past record of the IJU's relationship with the IFJ
THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE of the Indian Journalists Union, meeting at Ahmedabad on August 21-22, 2005, recalls that it had approved of Ms Sabina Inderjit as the India coordinator of the project on the basis, among other factors, of the superlatives IFJ General Secretary Aidan White had admittedly used in assessing her suitability for the job, and, therefore,
" EXPRESSES its deep sense of shock and dismay at the manner in which the IFJ, through Mr Aidan White, scouted for and negotiated with a new Indian project partner without taking the IJU into confidence and, then, went back on its original position and withdrew the project from the IJU without showing adequate cause thereof;
" APPROVES fully and unreservedly the position taken by the IJU leadership on the issue in their talks with Mr Aidan White and otherwise;
" REITERATES that it does not see any "conflict of interest" between Ms Inderjit's working as the India coordinator of the project and her membership of the IFJ Executive Committee because her appointment as coordinator was made by the IJU, and not the IFJ, and it was the IJU as India partner that was to monitor and oversee her work as coordinator;
" VIEWS with GRAVE CONCERN the frequent communication gaps between Mr White and the IJU leadership and the tendency in the former to violate the accepted forms and norms of communication between two independent organisations related closely with each other;
" RESOLVES to dissociate itself completely from the project, as the IJU has felt cheated and has not been treated honestly and fairly by the IFJ General Secretary, who has sought to impose his decisions on the IJU
" CALLS UPON the IFJ to evolve a detailed code of relationship between the two organisations through a dialogue, or some other suitable mechanism, to ensure that, if desired, our future relationship rests on a stronger basis; AND that the outcome of the deliberations would help the IJU in formulating its future relations with the IFJ
" URGES the IFJ Executive Committee to review its approach to the affiliates, decide the question of "conflict of interest" after detailed consideration and on the basis of accepted norms of jurisprudence, and evolve ways to ensure that there are no communication gaps between its office-bearers and its affiliates, some of whom may be as zealous of their self-respect as the IJU.
Resolution On IFJ Indifference To Sabina Iderjit
National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalist Union (IJU) held at
Ahmedabad on August 21-22, 2005 expresses grave concern at the systematic
marginalization and isolation of the IJU by the IFJ in its counsels. So much
so that even Sabina Inderjit, an elected member of the IFJ executive committee,
who happens to be the IJU member is being ignored by the IFJ in regard to
its activities related to the Asia Pacific region in her capacity as an elected
member of the IFJ Executive Committee.
Sabina Inderjit is not even properly recognized by the IFJ as an ExCom member, and is treated solely as an IJU representative. It is regretted that she has been systematically kept out of the activities in the region and far from being consulted; she is often kept unaware of conferences, workshops, missions in the region, for reasons best known to the IFJ and its Asia Pacific office.
She has even been told that if she wishes to participate in activities she may do so under the sponsorship of the IJU, thereby making it clear that any role played by her as an IFJ Ex-Com member is unwelcome. This attitude of the IFJ towards Sabina Inderjit is discriminatory and amounts to injustice not only to her but to Indian journalists and the IJU.
The IJU is a democratic body of journalists in India and regrets such arbitrary functioning of the IFJ Secretariat and its Asia Pacific office and appeals to the IFJ Executive Committee and the Congress to uphold the established democratic norms of trade unionism.
Resolution On Illegal sacking of Hindustan Times employees
This meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) held in Ahmadabad on August 21-22, 2005 condemns the illegal and arbitrary sack of 362 permanent employees by the Hindustan Times management on Gandhi Jayanti last year. While fully supporting the just cause of the sacked employees and the Hindustan Times Employees Union, this meeting expresses its deep sense of shock and consternation at the Government's failure to book the Hindustan Times management for this blatant violation of the law of the land. It condemns the inaction of both the Union and Delhi Governments at their failure to intervene effectively against this violation with impunity of both the Working Journalists and Industrial Disputes Acts.
Such a wholesale sack of permanent employees covered by Wage Board awards just to reduce the labour costs of a profitable company is a rare occurrence in this country. That it happened in the newspaper industry in the country's Capital under the very nose of the Union Government clearly is a sign of things to come. More so, because the management did this by making a colourable use of Section 25 (FF) of the ID Act. This it did by forming a wholly owned subsidiary without a change of ownership and subsequently an Australian investor being given an equity participation just about 15 per cent while retaining the rest of the equity with Hindustan Times Limited, that is, itself. There is no change of ownership in fact and the fiction that the new company has refused to accept the services of HT employees amounts to saying that the left hand was refusing to take what the right was offering. If allowed to go unresisted, it could set a pattern for the entire economy and embolden all employers to make nonsense of the country's labour law by resorting to the stratagem of partnering a paper firm abroad and, then, sacking all its permanent employees by exploiting Section 25 (FF) provisions. Using the same yardstick, if this attempt of the Hindustan Times is successful, any employer in the country shall be free to fire its workforce just by changing its nameplate.
In the newspaper industry, it could set the stage for similar actions by other managements to force the contract system down the throats of unwilling employees and, thus, defeat the very purpose for which wage boards are set up.
The trade union movement of the country cannot afford to take this illegality and injustice lying down. The IJU is fully alive to the dangers this precedent, if allowed to be set, portends for the newspaper industry, in particular, and the entire industrial sector in general.
While assuring the struggling Hindustan Times workers and their union of the unstinted support of the IJU's affiliated unions and this meeting calls upon the Government to take punitive action against this blatant illegality. It also urges the Government to so amend the ID Act that no employer can take recourse to such tricks to deprive workmen of their jobs and other rights.
This meeting also calls upon all concerned to appreciate the gravity of the issues involved and join their hands to defeat the nefarious designs of Hindustan Times management and force the Government to ensure earliest reinstatement of these 362 employees and to take preventive legal action for the future. The law must be amended to expressly prohibit such conspiratorial use of FDI and Section 25 (FF) and other provisions of the ID Act.
Let us not fail history, because this one lapse could spell the doom for the entire working class of the country.
To express solidarity of the entire country's working journalist and other newspaper employees with struggling Hindustan Times employees union, the NEC resolve to observe nation wide solidarity they on 2nd October 2005, which will mark the completion of one year of the struggling HT employees and Black Day on which the HT management committed this illegality. The NEC authorizes the IJU president and secretary general to make this proposal to the confederation of newspaper and news agency employees organizations for joint action.
Resolution On Promotion Of Journalists Working On Wage board
The National Executive Committee of India Journalists Union(IJU), meeting at Ahmedabad on August 21-22, 2005, expresses its serious concern over the ban imposed on the promotion of Wage Board-governed journalists in various newspapers by the managements in the country and demands the immediate restoration of the right of all working journalists to their due promotions.
The NEC also appeals to the Union Government to introduce an assured career
promotion scheme for Wage Board-governed journalists.
Resolution On FDI In Print Media
The National Executive Committee of India Journalists Union, meeting at Ahmedabad
on August 21-22, 2005 expresses its deep concern over the fact that more and
more pressure is being exerted by international finance capital to make further
inroads into the Indian print media through the FDI. Such attempts, if allowed
to go unchecked, would eventually lead to a situation where the decisions
of the Government led by India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, banning
the publication of foreign newspapers, journals, magazines, etc, from the
Indian soil, as recommended by the first Press Commission in its monumental
report in 1954, would lose all its sanctity and validity.
Perturbed by the fact that owners of some American newspapers, using FDI, have already started printing, publishing and selling their papers in India with impunity, thus serving American imperialist aims and harming the interests of India, this meeting after considering all aspects of the situation, has come to the conclusion that the Government of India should take immediate steps to ban the publications of foreign newspapers from the Indian soil and give legal sanctity to the 1955 Cabinet decision banning such foreign publication.
The NEC also urges the Government of India to withdraw permission to the
Indian newspaper owner allowing 26 percent foreign direct investment.
The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalist Union at its meeting held at Ahmedabad on 21-22 August 2005, having considered the growing interlinking of media and the complex web of relationship they are developing, expresses its great concern at ownership of information structure passing into the hands of Indian and Foreign monopolies and vested interest.
Several major newspaper groups have entered the arena of television news and entertainment channels and vice-versa. Besides, foreign media channels and newspapers groups have linked up with Indian media oligopolies. The next step in this could well be international finance entering the media merger-acquisition-joint structures. This puts what concerned media experts have termed as "exceptional power into the hands of international financiers and money managers who have extraordinary influence in the development of media companies themselves".
The NEC warns the Government and Parliament about the grave dangers of such complex systems with international dimensions acquiring such extraordinary power over Indian media which they are bound to use not only to promote their narrow interests but also sabotage national security. More so, in an environment where working journalist loose protection of legislation against arbitrary dismissals and transfers. In New Delhi itself, 362 employees of Hindustan Times group where summarily removed without any notice when that group teamed up with a foreign concern. In Hyderabad, a foreign publication with its Indian partner has been defying the rules made by the Government itself on foreign publications in India.
If despite such open defines of the laws of the land by these web of evil the Government still soft pedals their threat, it would be essential for concerned citizenry to rise in revolt against this policy of selling the down the drain.
The IJU is determined to fight this menace and awaken public opinion against
Governments laxity in enforcing even its own minimum rules in restricting
this oligopolistic combination of Indian media and foreign interest.
Resolution On Tamil Nadu
The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalist Union (IJU), meeting at Ahmedabad on August 21-22 2005, strongly protests against the Tamil Nadu governments failure to implement the scheme to assist the bereaved families of journalists that Chief Minister Jayalalitha had announced with much fanfare in her Budget speech in the State Assembly. The scheme committed the State Government to granting an assistance of Rs 200,000 to the bereaved families of working journalists on their death, but the scheme remained a dead letter until recently, when the assistance was provided to the families of just three journalists, all related to the ruling party.
The committee regretted such discriminatory implementation of the scheme
and called for its uniform application by the State Government in all cases.
Resolution On Andhra Pradesh
The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalist Union (IJU), which
met at Ahmedabad on August 21-22 2005, appreciated the Andhra Pradesh Union
of Working Journalists (APUWJ) on its alertness in reacting strongly to and
securing the withdrawal of Chief Minister Y. Rajasekhara Reddys statement
warning mediapersons against interviewing extremist leaders since that constituted
a culpable offence. The media, on the other hand, should report
to the State government whatever information it collected about their activities,
he had said. The IJU had condemned the statement as an attack on the freedom
of the Press and the APUWJ had taken up the matter with the Chief Minister,
who realised that he had committed a faux pas and withdrew the statement.
The Committee is confident that the APUWJ and other State unions will display similar alertness in the future too against any threat to the freedom of the Press.
Resolution On Solidarity To Nepal's Journalists
The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) meeting in Ahmedabad on 21st and 22nd August 2005 strongly condemns declaration of state of emergency and suspension of the constitutional right to freedom of the press and democratic rights of the people by the King Gyanendra in Nepal. King Gyanendra dismissed the democratically elected government of Sher Bahadur Deuba on 1 February 2005 and declared a state of emergency. The king also suspended constitutional rights to freedom of press, speech and expression, to assemble peacefully, to privacy and against preventive detention. The King imposed six-month ban on negative reports on himself and the government and stationed soldiers at radio stations and newspaper offices across the nation to enforce censorship. He forcible shut down all independent press, and the banned FM radio stations.
Several Journalists including the leaders of the Federation of Nepali Journalists
were arrested. Under pressure from the Journalists trade Unions and other
democratic forces world over, the King was forced to release some of the arrested
journalists. There is still a grave threat to the safety of journalists working
The Indian Journalists Union expresses its solidarity to the struggling journalists of Nepal and pledges to extend all possible help to them. It demands that the King to reinstate the constitutional right to freedom of the press, speech, expression and association that existed before the coup. Censorship has robbed Nepalese journalists of democracy, their human rights, and now their livelihoods. It urges upon the Government of India to put maximum pressure on the King of Nepal to restore fundamental democratic rights of the journalists and the people. It calls upon the Government to stop all Defense related aid to the Government of Nepal until the state of emergency is lifted and all democratic rights are fully restored.
It decides to observe August 30th as the Global Day of Action for press freedom in Nepal as per the call given by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). The National Executive Committee calls upon all State Unions to chalk out programmes to express their solidarity with the struggling Nepalese journalists on 30th August 2005 in a befitting manner.
Resolution On Contract Employment
The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalist Union at its meeting held at Ahmedabad on 21-22 August 2005, notes with great concern the increasing employment of journalist and other newspaper employees on contract basis. The NEC is of the opinion that employment of journalists and other newspaper employees on contact basis is a game of the employers to deprive his employees of their legitimate and legal rites of wages, bonus, gratuity and benefits of other labour laws and to create a new section of employees away from the mainstream of newspaper employees. A person who is employed in newspaper industry, works under the Working Journalist Act and as such is governed by Industrial Employment (Standing Order) Act which protects such persons who are entitled to the benefits of all labour laws and as such covered by Wage Boards and their recommendations.
The NEC is of the opinion that in order to remove all doubts and in order to make it known to newspaper employees, the government should amend the Working Journalist Act to provide an exhaustive definition of working journalist and other newspaper employees to cover contact employees, columnists or call them by any other name, to be treated as newspaper employees.
The NEC also sees this system of employment as a threat to the freedom of the press as a contract journalist is more vulnerable to threats from employer to toe their line to safeguard his or her job.
The NEC favours an assured career progression scheme for Wage Board Employees and calls upon the newspaper employees particularly contract employees and workers to unite and fight for protecting their interest under the labour laws and to do away with employers rising attitude of heir and fire of these persons.
on Formation of confederation of India-Pakistan Newspaper
And News Agency employees' organizations
The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) meeting at Ahmedabad on August 21st and 22nd 2005 welcomes the proposal of the Pakistani journalists for the formation of Confederation of India-Pakistan newspaper and news agency employees' organizations. Considering the similarity of problems being faced by the journalists and other employees working in newspapers and news agencies in both the countries, it is would be in their interest to pool their experiences and resources to fight for the better living and working conditions.
The Indian Journalists Union calls upon the National Confederation of newspaper and agency employees to take urgent steps to form a Confederation of India-Pakistan confederation of journalists and non-journalists of the two countries.
Resolution On Confederation of Newspaper and News Agency Employees' Organisations
This meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU), held at Ahmedabad on August 21-22 2005, places on records its appreciation of the efforts of the IJU leadership to help build greater unity among the country's newspaper employees. While happily ratifying their decision to set up, along with four other newspaper employees' organisation, the Confederation of Newspaper and News Agency Employees' Organisations, it congratulates all these organisations on the occasion.
The meeting also extends its greetings on the occasion to members of the
four organisations, namely, the AINEF, the NUJ-I, the PTI Employees Union
and the UNI Employees Union and calls upon all newspaper employees to strengthen
the Confederation and their unity to fight for the defence of their rights.
August 28, 2005