Scribes stage protest march for notification of wage boards

New Delhi: Hundreds of scribes of newspapers and news agencies from across the country today staged a march here to protest the "delay" in notification of recommendations of the Wage Boards for journalists and non- journalists.

Parliamentarians from different parties joined the agitating employees of media organisations in the march organised by Confederation of Newspapers and News Agencies Employees Organisations (CNNAEO).

Addressing the rally, Confederation's General Secretary M S Yadav said, "Despite timely submission of the Majithia wage boards report on December 31, 2010, the government is deliberately delaying the notification."

He attributed this delay to apparent "pressure" from owners of the media houses.

The CNNAEO General Secretary said the delay in notifying the recommendations of the journalists and non-journalists wage boards was leading to intensification of the agitation as employees of newspapers and news agencies were suffering from spiralling prices.

He said that if the government did not immediately give approval to the wage boards recommendations the employees would be forced to make it an issue in the coming assembly elections in five states.

The protest march started from UNI office and ended at the Labour Ministry buildings where senior leaders of the Confederation addressed the gathering. Vehicular traffic was affected on the busy Rafi Marg for over three hours due to the stir.

Similar protests were organised in different states. In Mumbai, members of the Press Trust of India Workers' Union (Western Region) staged a demonstration demanding immediate implementation of the recommendations.

In Delhi, Yadav and others criticised suspension of employees of the Tribune newspaper "as an example of highhandedness of the management of the newspaper" and warned of a nationwide agitation in favour of the suspended staff if their suspension was not revoked immediately.

Besides Yadav, IJU's Suresh Akhouri and K B Pandit, NUJI's N K Trikha and Rajendra Prabhu, IFWJ's General Secretary Parmanand Pandey, AINEF's General Secretary Madan Talwar and its Vice President Santosh Kumar, DUJ's General Secretary S K Pande, UNI's M L Joshi and PTI's Sanjay Sinha and Rajbir Singh also participated in the agitation.

The scribes agitation had its echo in the Parliament too where MPs from Congress, BJP, RJD and JD (U) raised the issue in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.