IJU condemns efforts to 'scuttle' wage boards

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Hyderabad, May 22 (UNI) Indian Journalists Union (IJU) Secretary General K Sreenivas Reddy today criticised the efforts of a leading English daily for scrapping the Wage Board, constituted by the Union Government for working journalists and non-journalists, by moving the Delhi High Court.

Participating in a one-day interactive tripartite workshop on Wage Boards for Newspaper Employees and implementation of its recommendations, he dubbed the Daily's efforts as ''delay tactics'' which came at a time when the Wage Board, headed by Mr Justice Narayan Kurup, was about to announce interim relief for the employees of the newspaper industry.

Alleging that the recommendations of the Wage Boards had not been implemented in the past, he urged the Centre to ensure such dailies were derecognised by the Registrar of Newspapers.

''While the government was withdrawing advertisements to those dailies censured by the Press Council of India, why not such an action be initiated against those which failed to implement the recommendations of the Wage Boards in toto?'' he asked.

Referring to the clause stipulating completion of ten years of service for journalists to be eligible for payment of gratuity, he opined this should be reduced to three years as in the case of non-journalists working in the industry.

Opposing contract employment in the newspaper industry, he felt that journalists would not be able to carry on their duties independent of the newspaper management concerned if they lacked ''job security.'' ''Constitutional obligation'' is there on the part of the Union Government to ensure that the Fourth estate functions freely,'' he said.

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