Executive Committee meeting
December 6 - 7, 2007
On Government’s dilatory tactics in Wage Board matters
The meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union, held at Ambaji (Gujarat) on Dec. 6-7, 2007. Views with serious concern the dilatory tactics being employed by Union Labour Ministry mandarins in dealing with and deciding/ settling the matters relating to the working of the Wage Boards for Working Journalists and Non-journalist Newspaper and News Agency Employees. These dilatory tactics show a clear nexus between the employers and Ministry officials for they are obviously intended to delay the functioning of the Boards at every stage in order to scuttle, even sabotage, their working. There seems to be an obvious design to deny both journalist and non-journalist employees of newspapers and news agencies of the long overdue revision of their wage and salary structures.
After first delaying the setting up of these Wage Boards on one excuse after another, they took a long time in getting over the technical problems of initiating their functioning. And later, when the Boards, at their very first meetings, demanded that the question of interim relief be added to their terms of reference, the Government is just sleeping over the demand and doing nothing to do the needful.
IJU is familiar with such tactics and have faced them many times while dealing with the employers and the lower bureaucracy. It is unfortunate that even the Union Labour Ministry of a government swearing by the aam aadmi is serving the interests of the employers by playing an obstructionist role in Wage Board matters.
While strongly condemn such dilatory tactics and call upon the Government to eschew these and play ball. Newspaper employees will not be satisfied just with the lollipop of the setting up of the Wage Boards. In case the Government does not give up its obstructionist tactics and take immediate action to add the question of Interim Relief in the terms of reference of the two Wage Boards, IJU shall be left with no alternative but to launch a direct struggle for justice.
The NEC, therefore, calls upon all the State Unions to start preparing for a long-drawn-out struggle to make the Union Labour Ministry see reason.
On Pak media’s struggle against repression
The meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists, held at Ambaji (Gujarat) on Dec. 6-7, 2007. strongly condemns the repression of Pakistan’s media by the Musharraf regime and expresses its complete solidarity with the Pakistani journalists who are struggling against all odds to support the cause of democracy in their country. IJU salute the journalists, lawyers and other democratic forces of Pakistan who are fighting for the withdrawal of the Emergency imposed by General Musharraf and fully support their cause.
IJU also support wholeheartedly the Charter of Demands adopted by the neighboring country’s journalist community on November 30 seeking removal of all restrictions on the freedom of expression and right to information and withdrawal of the repressive ordinances and codes introduced since November 3 last.
While fully endorsing the Charter of Media Freedom adopted by them as truly reflective of the aspirations of the media, the IJU fully supports their demands for the withdrawal of the recently amended Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority ordinances and the code of conduct imposed on the media, restoration of all news channels without restrictions on live coverage or a ban on particular programmes, an end to harassment and victimization of individual media outlets and journalists, and revoking ban on dish antenna import.
IJU is confident that Pakistan’s journalists will come out victorious in their struggle and assure them of our continued support and assistance in their struggle.