GUWAHATI, July 20 � A hearing by the Wage Board for journalists and non-journalists of the North East was held at the conference hall of Hotel Brahmaputra Ashok here today.
The nine-member Wage Board, presided over by its chairman Justice G R Majithia, heard unions of journalists and non-journalists who sought revision of their wages. The unions, namely Assam Tribune Employees� Union, Journalists� Union of Assam, Assam Union of Working Journalists, All Assam Journalists� Union, All Assam Press Correspondents� Union, Journalists� Union of Tripura and Journalists� Union of Meghalaya took turns to put forth their points of view to justify revision of their salary and wages.
Besides Justice Majithia, the members of the Boards who attended today�s hearing were Gurinder Singh, Suresh Akhouri, N K Tirkha, K Vikram Rao, U S Misra, K L Sahni, M S Yadav and P N Prasanna Kumar.
Representatives of the unions urged upon the Wage Board to prepare report by maintaining parity with the salary and wages of Central Government employees, saying that a relatively steep upward revision in the pay structure of the newspaper employees has become urgently essential in view of the prevailing economic conditions.
In his inaugural remarks, Justice Majithia lauded the role the media is playing as a vital component of the Indian democracy. �If democracy has survived in India, it is because of the media,� he said.
The Journalists� Union of Assam (JUA) in its 50-page representation made a forceful plea for revision of pay for the journalists. Its demands included provision of a conflict area allowance and a distance allowance for journalists in the North-eastern States.