GUWAHATI, Sept 4 - Registering strong protest against the Centre�s move to introduce the Code of Wages, 2019 that intends to scrap the wage board � the tripartite wage fixation machinery for journalists and non-journalist newspaper employees, the Assam Tribune Employees� Union (ATEU) today met Governor Jagdish Mukhi and submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through him, demanding rollback of the proposal.
The employees of the Assam Tribune Group of Publications under the banner of ATEU took out a protest march from the Tribune Buildings premises to the Raj Bhavan, shouting slogans against the move of repealing of legislations meant for journalists and non-journalist employees of newspaper houses.
ATEU demanded a new wage board to recommend wages and other perks and allowances for the employees working in different newspaper houses of India.
It needs mention here that the Code of Wages, 2019 brought by the Union government besides subsuming various labour laws, would also lead to repealing of the Working Journalist and Other Newspaper Employees (Condition of Service and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1955 and the Working Journalist (Fixation of Rates of Wages) Act 1958, once the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code 2019 (which is a part of the Code of Wages, 2019), comes into being.
The newspaper employees union, in particular, has been demanding of the government to hold back the proposal to scrap the two Acts, which are exclusively for journalists and other newspaper employees. The wage board for newspaper employees is statutory in nature unlike the wage boards meant for other category of employees and workers of the country.
�We consider this as a serious infringement on our rights and privileges as the employees of the newspaper industry. Further, this will invariably push us towards more financial and job insecurity. We are completely against such a move which will annihilate our identity, our job security, our wage fixation system and above all, our unique identity as the member of an industry that has been relentlessly trying to uphold the democratic ethos and values in this country,� the memorandum given to the Prime Minister mentioned.
The ATEU delegation, comprising its president Siba Prasad Deka, general secretary Jiten Kalita, vice president Partha Pratim Hazarika, assistant general secretary Gautam Kakati, organising secretary Anima Das and members Mamata Mishra and Diganta Das handed over the memorandum to the Governor. The Governor, after a detailed discussion, assured the ATEU members of forwarding its concerns and apprehensions to the Prime Minister.