IJU
Indian Journalist union
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Resolutions

IJU Condemns Govt bid to Control Media Institutions</p>
<p>The Plenary of the IJU held in Amritsar on 27-28 October, expresses its deep concern over the government’s manoeuvres to control the media and impinge on the right to freedom of expression and access to information.</p>
<p>The IJU in particular cautions the Information and Broadcasting Ministry against meddling in the reconstitution of media institutions and undermining their sanctity. The reconstitution of the 13th Press Council of India is mired in controversy. Its Chairman chose to do away with well-established procedure and interpreted the rules and guidelines perversely impacting the neutrality and credibility of the Council. He held a meeting of the Council, inviting only 8 government nominees, out of the total membership of 28, and took decisions which are clearly illegal.</p>
<p>The IJU condemns the above procedure and has asked its members along with its partner organisations to be on its guard and ensure that the undemocratic decisions are overturned and that the Council’s credibility is restored.</p>
<p>Likewise, the I&B Ministry has sought to control the media through the reconstituted Central Press Accreditation Committee (CPAC), by selecting a handful of individual members with the media organisations being outrightly left out, despite seeking their nominations. The fact that the CPAC has been reconstituted without the representatives of organisations of working journalists, editors is a clear violation of stipulated guidelines and amounts to veiled censorship. The IJU demands the Govt to reconstitute the CPAC with the representatives of the journalists’ organisations, without any further delay.</p>
<p>The Plenary noted that the media has played a critical role as the fourth estate in strengthening public opinion and enhancing India’s vibrant democracy, and therefore it was important that media organisations are not tampered with. The government must desist from adopting surreptitious ways to tame the media and throttle the voice of dissent through well-established institutions.</p>
<p>IJU Demands ICC in media organisations</p>
<p>The Plenary of the IJU held on October 27-28 taking note of the MeToo # movement in media in the country, expressed solidarity with women journalists for their courage to blow the lid on sexual harassment at the hands of their editor bosses and at the work place.</p>
<p>The IJU not only condemns the cases that are coming out, but also former Minister of External Affairs MJ Akbar for filing a criminal defamation case against Priya Ramani to intimidate her and others who have accused him of sexually harassing them, when he was the then editor in various dailies.</p>
<p>The IJU is firm that there has to be zero tolerance against sexual harassment and demands from all media organisations that they must have the Internal Complaints Committee’s in place without any further delay. At the same time, they must ensure that the composition of these committees are genuine and provide relief to the complainants and act against the accused.</p>
<p>The IJU also demands from the Government, specially the Women and Child Ministry as well the GoM constituted to ensure that the managements set up the ICCs in lines with the Supreme Court directives. The IJU will not view this as interference in press freedom, but will ensure that the apex court directives are followed.</p>
<p>The IJU also calls upon its State leaders to set up Gender Cells in its unions as well as apprise its members of the guidelines, which spell out what amounts to sexual harassment. The Plenary hopes that the MeToo# movement would ensure safer environment for women journalists in future and that zero tolerance against sexual harassment is advocated across media organisations.

This meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU), being held at Patna on 13th May 2012, strongly condemns the non-implementation of the Majithia Wage Board recommendations as notified by the Union Government by the employers of newspapers and news agencies. While protesting strongly against the Government’s failure to take any action to get the Wage Boards’ awards implemented, the Union reiterates its determination to wage a relentless struggle for the implementation of these awards under the leadership of the Confederation of Newspaper and News agency employees unions.</p>
<p>The IJU has been strongly responding to all the Confederation’s calls for action in this respect and hereby renews its determination to not only carry out all the decisions of the Confederation to fight for the implementation of the awards but to do everything possible to strengthen the Confederation and its future course of action.</p>
<p>This meeting also calls upon all Central trade union organisations and other democratic forces to support our struggle for the implementation of the Wage awards by building up pressure upon the Government to take effective steps for the implementation of the awards.</p>
<p>Resolutions</p>
<p>This meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU), being held at Patna on 13th May 2012, views with serious concern the ongoing attempts to stifle the voice of the journalists and control the freedom of the Press. While the Press barons are trying to usurp it by enforcing the contract system to threaten the job security of the journalists, the authorities are trying to do that by seeking to “regulate” the Press and even involving the Supreme Court in the exercise by calling upon it to prescribe “guidelines” for the Press. The judiciary has even otherwise not refrained from interfering with the functioning of the Press as we saw in the Allahabad High Court’s recent advice to the Press against carrying reports relating to the movement of the armed forces.</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the IJU appreciates the concern of the Central Election Commission and other democratic institutions over the emergence of the phenomenon of “paid news” but firmly believes that it should not be used as an excuse to stifle the voice of the Press. The IJU, in fact, was the first to take notice of this phenomenon and suggest ways to tackle the menace. Our representatives in the Press Council of India (PCI) played a leading role in suggesting ways to curb this phenomenon and discipline the delinquent elements among newspaper managements.</p>
<p>It was in appreciation of all these factors that the first Press Commission called for the setting up of the Press Council to oversee the Press. The twin measures of setting up the Press Council and creating statutory institutions to regulate the wages and service conditions of the working journalists went a long way in strengthening the freedom of the Press in the country and developing it into a strong institution.</p>
<p>The IJU, therefore, has already called for the setting up a Media Commission to consider in detail the entire gamut of the working and service conditions and rights and duties of the media, including electronic media. We have also made an alternative suggestion to set up, at least, a Media Council to oversee the functioning of the media and ensure that its freedom does not get “unchartered”.</p>
<p>This meeting, therefore, calls upon all concerned to be wary of interfering with the freedom of the Press in the interest of democracy in the country. We are confident that the Supreme Court will deal with the matter sagaciously and ensure that the freedom of the Press is not allowed to be trifled with.</p>
<p>Resolutions</p>
<p>This meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU), being held at Patna on 13th May 2012, regrets that the Union Government has not taken any action so far on this union’s repeated appeals for the enactment of a law to ensure safety and protection of working journalists and payment of adequate compensation to their families in case any tragedy befalls them. Even the Maharashtra Government’s assurance in the wake of the assassination of J. De more than a year ago of bringing such a legislation appears to have been forgotten with the passage of time.</p>
<p>As pointed out by the IJU on innumerable occasions, the journalists face threats to their life and limb from not only the various mafias but also terrorists and sometimes even security forces, throughout the country, more particularly in the sensitive areas. There have been many reports of mediapersons being abused or beaten up. And the difference between attacks by gun butts and the pulling of a trigger could often be made by a word, a gesture or even some stray noise.</p>
<p>The IJU, therefore, calls upon the Government not to wait for the occurrence of the next big tragedy but to take urgent steps to enact a law to ensure the safety and protection of working journalists and the payment of adequate compensation to their families in case a tragedy befalls them.

The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) has since long been pressing for the formation of a Media<br />
Commission to study the current state of affairs in the media and recommend adequate legislative and<br />
other measures to define the roles of all their stake-holders. The ongoing controversy over the proposal<br />
to replace the Press Council of India (PCI) with a media council to enforce a code of ethics on or<br />
regulate the entire media fully vindicates our demand and shows clearly that any further delay in<br />
conceding it will only sharpen such controversies and create more problems for both the print and<br />
broadcast media.<br />
The working and service conditions in the media today are virtually unregulated. In spite of the<br />
Working Journalists and other Newspaper Employees (Condition of Service) and Miscellaneous<br />
Provisions Act. 1955, the employers in the print media have succeeded in depriving large numbers of<br />
working journalists of their right to job security and statutorily fixed wages and working conditions.<br />
The conditions in the broadcast media are no better. That is why the entire media reflects by and large<br />
the voice of only a handful of media barons who have come to usurp the right to freedom of the Press<br />
that, in all fairness, should belong to the journalists who are motivated not by any profit motive but by<br />
a missionary spirit and are trained to report events objectively and project the voice of people<br />
sincerely. It is these conditions that are responsible for the phenomena like “paid news” and the use of<br />
mediapersons for alleged commercial liaison purposes.<br />
The situation is already serious and the increasing power of the media could make it a lot<br />
worse if urgent steps are not taken to build it into a mighty weapon to defend and strengthen<br />
democracy by strengthening the institution of journalists and journalism. This 7th plenary session of<br />
the Indian Journalists Union (IJU), being held at Hyderabad on November 26-28, 2011, therefore, calls<br />
upon the Government to set up a Media Commission and consult representatives of all the stakeholders of the media to frame its terms of reference.

Although our heart goes out to the hundreds of journalists who have lost their jobs because of the fall of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, one can have no sympathy for the fallen empire for the simple reason that it symbolized the lowest depths to which sensational reporting can plunge by employing unethical means. The suffering journalists are, unfortunately, paying the price for the immoral greed of their masters who stopped at nothing in exploiting the gullibility of the masses to mint millions.</p>
<p>While condemning the unethical and illegal practices resorted to by the Murdochs, this meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union expresses its concern at the display of similar tendencies by a small section of Indian media, particularly some of the lesser known TV channels and calls upon the country’s mediapersons to draw the right lessons from the event and resolve firmly to refrain from pursuing the path of sensational and unethical reporting.</p>
<p>The meeting also decides to hold workshops throughout the country to propagate the code of ethics adopted by the Press Council of India and emphasise the dos and don’ts required by the norms of healthy and robust journalism.</p>
<p>This meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Indian Journalists Union, held at New Delhi on July24, 2011, expresses its anguish and pain at the martyrdom of our late colleague Jyotirmoy De at Mumbai last month and regrets the slow pace of the police investigations of the case. While offering its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, the committee calls upon the Maharashtra Government to take greater pains to bring the killers of J. De to book at the earliest.</p>
<p>The NEC strongly supports the demand of the Mumbai and Maharashtra journalist community’s for urgent steps to ensure the protection of the fearless and honest journalists who risk their life and limb to expose the misdeeds of anti-social elements.</p>
<p>While welcoming the Maharashtra Government’s offer to prepare and adopt a law to guarantee the protection of journalists, this meeting would invite the attention of the Union Government as well as other State governments to the fact that the journalists are not safe anywhere in the country and that many of our colleagues have suffered at the hands of various mafias in many States, including the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir.</p>
<p>This meeting, therefore, calls upon the Union Government to take the initiative in preparing a national law to ensure the safety and protection of journalists and compensate their families in case a tragedy strikes them.

On Government’s dilatory tactics in Wage Board matters</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>On Pak media’s struggle against repression</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.

On Government’s dilatory tactics in Wage Board matters</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>On Pak media’s struggle against repression</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.

I – On the state of the newspaper industry</p>
<p>This plenary session of the IJU, being held at Sirsa on February 9-11, 2007, views with deep anguish the failure of both the Union and State governments to help improve the working and service conditions of working journalists by just enforcing the laws of the land. Repeated appeals by our union to enforce the awards of the Manisana Singh Wage Boards have fallen on deaf ears. Such are the pathetic conditions that although the Union Government has decided to set up a new Wage Board, a large number of newspaper establishments in State after State have yet to implement the award of the previous Wage Board. Our appeals to set up tripartite committees to oversee the implementation of the award have been in vain. The provisions of the Working Journalists (Conditions of Service) Act are being violated day in and day out. The concerned departments of State governments appear to be working in tandem with the employers to whitewash their acts of omission and commission, while the plight of poorly paid journalist and other employees is getting worse and worse.</p>
<p>A situation has, thus, been created where the working journalists have just about no job security and even permanent newspaper employees can be dismissed overnight, not only in the States but even in the national Capital. Almost the whole lot of regular working journalists and other newspaper employees of Hindustan Times were forced just a year and a half ago to either accept fresh employment on “contract” or get dismissed from service. As many as 362 employees were dismissed overnight on Gandhi Jayanti, but the Government failed to intervene despite a peaceful agitation by the Hindustan Times Employees Union, the IJU and other fraternal unions. Not only that. All the leaders of the HTEU were victimised unceremoniously but neither the Union nor the State Government intervened in their support. The employers, thus, have usurped the right to arbitrarily hire and fire the working journalists in spite, if not violation, of all the labour laws, including the Industrial Disputes Act.</p>
<p>As a result, managers have usurped the editorial control of many so-called national newspapers and the editors have to accept their diktat or leave. No wonder the editorial content, including the selection of news, is determined by the commercial interests of the industrial houses running the newspapers. Just as the electronic media are concerned more with their TRP ratings even if these improve by catering to the baser passions of the viewers, the print media, too, are losing their professional values to improve their circulation figures, and profits. The freedom of the Press, thus, is being held to ransom by the proprietorial interests of newspaper owners and is fast ceasing to champion the voice of the people.</p>
<p>It is just this kind of situation that the founders of the working journalists’ movement had warned against soon after Independence when they had demanded the delinking of newspaper ownership from other industries. And no less a person than the first Prime Minister of the country, Jawaharlal Nehru, had warned against the usurpation of the right to freedom of the Press by the owners instead of journalists.</p>
<p>The situation, obviously, demands not only immediate correctives but a full-scale reform. The IJU, therefore, demands that a Media Commission be set up immediately to consider the state of the media – both print and electronic – and recommend ways to ensure the freedom of the media and control of the editors and journalists, and not the owners, over their news and views content. It also demands adequate amendments in the Working Journalists Act and other labour laws to abolish the contract system and make cognizable and punishable the violations of these laws.</p>
<p>Let there be no illusion, however, that these demands will be met without a strong agitation to press for these. We, therefore, call upon our State unions to build as broadbased a front as possible with other labour unions and prepare for a long struggle to press these demands.</p>
<p>II – On Wage Board</p>
<p>This plenary session of the Indian Journalists Union, being held at Sirsa on February 9-11, 2007, welcomes the Union Government’s decision to set up the next Wage Board for working journalists and other newspaper employees. While looking forward to its constitution at the earliest, we shall call upon the Government to include the abolition of the contract system, too, in its terms of reference and to empower it to prescribe punishment for the non-implementation of its awards as notified by the Government.</p>
<p>This session, therefore, urges the Government to constitute the Wage Board at the earliest, include in it the genuine representatives of the working journalists without ignoring the claims of the IJU, the largest and most representative union of working journalists in the country, whose presence extends to 24 States. The IJU would also urge the Government to give a time-bound mandate to the Wage Board so that justice is not delayed.</p>
<p>III – On the Contract System</p>
<p>This plenary session of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) reiterates its long-pending demand for the abolition of the contract system. The system, being employed with impunity by the employers to weaken the working journalists, reduce their control and influence over the news and views content of newspapers by depriving them of job security and, thus, usurp the freedom of the Press, violates the Working Journalists Act in letter and spirit. The system, in fact, robs the working journalists of their rights and privileges under the various labour laws, too.</p>
<p>The political leaders who declaim day in and day out against the loss of its missionary spirit and ethical values by the print media, and against its commercialization and sensationalisation of the news content need to appreciate that this state of affairs is a natural outcome of the enforcement of the contract system. The political elite must remember that the media are not only industries but also the “fourth estate” and that the working journalists are not only workmen but also the watchdogs of democracy and conscience-keepers of the nation. A threat to their job security, in fact, threatens not only their personal livelihood but also the freedom of the Press and the democratic system.</p>
<p>It is hightime the debate over the issue was not confined merely to the possession of the right to hire and fire by the employers but was extended to see its impact on the democratic life of the country, the state of its secular social fabric, its ethical norms and internal and external security.</p>
<p>IV Resolution on IJU – IFJ Relationship</p>
<p>The Plenary Session of the Indian Journalists Union in Sirsa, Haryana expresses its deep concern over the arbitrary functioning of the International Federation of Journalists in India. The IJU became members of this world organization in the anticipation of being equal partners in strengthening the journalists’ trade union rights and in upholding the freedom of the Press. However, the IJU regrets that the IFJ has lately sought to play the big brother and is treating the IJU as its subordinate. This is unacceptable to the Indian Journalists Union, which is the largest journalists’ Union in the country and which believes in transparency/openness and democratic functioning.</p>
<p>The IJU is greatly perturbed at the way the IFJ General Secretary handled the EU project on Europe and India: Building Path of Equality in Journalism; first offering it to the IJU in September 2003 and then unceremoniously and summarily withdrawing it. Without taking the IJU into confidence, the IFJ General Secretary negotiated with another Indian affiliate behind the back of the IJU and withdrew the project from the IJU. The IJU resolved to dissociate itself completely from the project, as it felt cheated and that it had not been treated honestly and fairly by the IFJ General Secretary, who has sought to impose his decisions on the IJU. Hence the IJU did not participate in a single activity associated with the project.</p>
<p>The IJU has also expressed its concern over the systematic marginalization and isolation of its elected representative on the world body by the IFJ in its counsels. Worse, the IFJ has started carrying out activities in India without even discussing or consulting its member Unions. It has been holding roundtable conferences in various parts of the country without any deliberations with the IJU. Such an arbitrary attitude is clearly not acceptable to us. The IJU cannot and shall not be taken for granted at any time. This Plenary session of the IJU therefore, would urge the IFJ to review its approach to the affiliates, and ensure that they are accepted and treated as partners, equal in every right.</p>
<p>This Plenary session approves all actions taken in this regard by the leadership and the NEC to protect the self respect of the organization. The session further resolved that if the IFJ did not mend its attitude at this hour also, then the IJU would have to reconsider its affiliation with the IFJ.

IJU National Executive Committee Meeting Ahmedabad, Gujrat, August 21-22, 2005</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalist Union (IJU), which met at Ahmedabad on August 21-22, 2005, reiterated the demand for the constitution of a fresh Wage Board to review, revise the salaries and other emoluments of working journalists and other newspaper and News agency employees. The meeting urged the Government to honour its commitment without any further ado and decided to launch an agitation jointly with other newspaper employee organisations to secure the demand.</p>
<p>The other major issues that dominated the discussions included the illegal, arbitrary and uncalled for sack of 362 permanent Hindustan Times employees on Gandhi Jayanti, the proliferation of the contract system and its impact on Wage Board-governed journalists, and the nefarious role played by the FDI in print media.</p>
<p>The NEC welcomed the formation of the confederation of Newspaper and News Agencies employee’s organizations and endorsed the efforts made by the IJU office bearers in promoting and supporting this move.</p>
<p>Hosted by the Gujarat Journalists Union (GJU), the meeting was presided over by the IJU President Suresh Akhouri.</p>
<p>Media Commission & Amendments to the WJA: The meeting was sharply critical of the Government’s failure to concede the IJU’s demands to set up a Media Commission and to amend the Working Journalists Act (WJA) with a view to a) bringing the electronic media journalists and web within its ambit, b) abolishing the contract system, and c) enhancing the punishment for non-implementation of statutory wage board awards, etc.</p>
<p>It also set up a committee with the IJU Secretary General K.Sreenivas Reddy as convener, to make a comprehensive draft proposal for amendments to the WJA and circulate it among all State unions before finalising it for presenting to the Government as a concrete demand. The following are members of the committee, besides Com Reddy: Comrades D. S. Ravindra Doss (Tamil Nadu), Geetartha Pathak (Assam), Prem Nath Bhargava and Dinesh Chandra (Delhi) and Arun Kumar (Bihar).</p>
<p>Earlier discussing the issue, member after member emphasised the need for such amendments to the WJA since newspaper managements were out to scuttle the Wage Board machinery through the contract system. By employing this stratagem, they were easing out regular employees and replacing them by ‘contract journalists’, who were deprived of the job security and other rights and privileges guaranteed to working journalists by the WJA and other statutes. They were, thus, usurping to themselves the right to “hire and fire” journalists arbitrarily and at will and holding the freedom of the Press to ransom.</p>
<p>For a fresh Wage Board: During its discussions on the demand for the constitution of a fresh Wage Board for Working Journalists and other newspaper employees, the members regretted that the Government was not implementing even the repeated assurances of its Ministers that they would be setting up the board soon. This clearly showed that the Government was hand in gloves with the employers and allowing them to make a mockery of labour laws.</p>
<p>While urging the Government to set up the fresh Wage Board urgently, the meeting decided to launch a struggle jointly with other unions and authorised the IJU President and Secretary General to make a proposal to the effect to the Confederation of Newspaper and News Agency Employees Organizations.</p>
<p>The meeting expresses serious concern over the ban imposed on promotion of the Wage Board-governed journalist in various newspapers in country by newspaper managements and demanded that all such journalist be given their due promotions. Also appeals to the Government to introduce of an assured career-promotion scheme for the journalists governed by Wage Board awards.</p>
<p>Illegal sack of 362 Hindustan Times comrades: Opening the discussion on the illegal and arbitrary sack of as many as 362 regular employees of the Hindustan Times on Gandhi Jayanti day last year, Com Akhouri condemned it as a slap in the face of the law of the land. Describing it as a challenge to the country’s working journalists, Com Reddy called upon the community to defeat this onslaught on Hindustan Times workers lest it emboldens other managements to indulge in similar misadventures.</p>
<p>The IJU treasure S. N. Sinha, who is also General Secretary of the H.T employees union reported in detail the boorish way the H. T. management had acted and the way the Hindustan Times Employees Union was carrying on the struggle against the nefarious designs of the management to use the FDI as a ruse to attack its regular employees.</p>
<p>The NEC decided to rally effectively in the support of the struggling H. T. employees and observe October 2 as Solidarity Day since that would mark the completion of one year of their struggle. The meeting also authorised the office-bearers to call upon the Confederation to launch a joint struggle in support of H. T. employees.</p>
<p>All State unions were requested to draw up their own programmes to observe the day, hold demonstrations, and otherwise lodge their protest against the wanton victimisation of H T employees.</p>
<p>Concern over growth of media monopolies: Discussing the role of the FDI in the print media, the NEC expressed its serious concern over the growing trend of inter-linking of newspapers and the formation of complex networks of Indian and foreign monopoly newspapers. The trend posed a threat not only to the interests of the country’s working journalists but also to national security and sovereignty, it said and called for urgent steps to reverse the trend.</p>
<p>The meeting regretted that the Tamil Nadu Government had failed to implement a scheme to assist the bereaved families of journalists that Chief Minister Jayalalitha had announced with much fanfare in her Budget speech in the State Assembly. According to the scheme, the Government would grant an assistance of Rs 200,000 to the bereaved families of working journalists on their death, but the scheme remained a dead letter until recently, when the assistance was provided to the families of just three journalists, all related to the ruling party print and electronic media. The committee regretted such discriminatory implementation of the scheme and called for its uniform application in all cases.</p>
<p>By another resolution, the committee congratulated the Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ) on securing withdrawal of Chief Minister Y. Rajasekhara Reddy’s statement warning mediapersons against interviewing extremist leaders since that constituted a “culpable offence”. The media, on the other hand, should report to the State government whatever information it collected about their activities, he had said. The IJU had condemned the statement as an attack on the freedom of the Press.</p>
<p>Move for Indo-Pak Confederation of Newspaper Employees: The meeting discussed the proposal made by Pakistani journalists for the formation of an Indo-Pak Confederation of Newspaper and News Agency Employees’ organizations. The NEC welcomed the proposal and decided to support all the efforts in this regard.</p>
<p>Solidarity with Nepalese journalists: The NEC condemned the brutal attacks by the security forces on journalists in Nepal and called upon all the State unions to observe August 30 as the “Global day of action for Press freedom in Nepal” on the call of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).</p>
<p>Europe and India: Building Paths to Equality in Journalism Project: The meeting heard in full detail the reports of the IJU office-bearers involved in discussions with the IFJ representative on this project, as well as Ms Sabina Inderjit and came to the conclusion that the IFJ had not been fair to the IJU. The way the IFJ leadership, Mr Aidan White (General Secretary IFJ) in particular, had acted in the matter left the NEC in no doubt that their approach was biased against the IJU and that they had unilaterally changed their India partners only to “punish” the IJU for its display of independence. It was clearly a case of bias or, at best, one of lack of communication.</p>
<p>The committee fully endorsed the position taken by the IJU leadership in the matter and resolved to disassociate itself completely from the project.</p>
<p>The meeting calls upon the IFJ to evolve a detailed code of relationship between the two organizations through a dialogue, or some other suitable mechanism, to ensure that, if desired, our future relationship rests on a stronger basis; AND that the outcome of the deliberation would help the IJU formulating its future relations with the IFJ.</p>
<p>Among others those who participated in the discussions where Comrades D. S. Ravindra Doss (Tamil Nadu), Geetartha Pathak (Assam), Madan Singh, Prem Nath Bhargava and Dinesh Chandra (Delhi), Arun Kumar and Bhola Nath(Bihar) , M.A.Mazid and A.Anajneyulu(A.P), Vinod Kohali(Chandigarh), K.B.Pandit(Haryana), B.R.Prajapati(Gujrat) and Mazhar Azad(U.P).</p>
<p>Elections: The meeting decided to discuss the issue of organisational elections and draw up a programme for these at the next meeting of the NEC to be held in November.</p>
<p>Call to prepare for struggle: Com Suresh Akhouri and Com Sreenivas Reddy discussed in detail the country’s political situation and the state of the newspaper industry and working journalists. The situation was worsening by the day in so far as the working class, particularly newspaper employees, was concerned, they said and called upon the community to get in readiness for a struggle to press the demands for a fresh wage board and abolition of the contract system.</p>
<p>They also called upon the State unions to prepare for hard struggles, by forming joint fronts with other newspaper employees’ unions in their respective States</p>
<p>The IJU President and the Secretary General thanked the Gujarat Journalists Union (GJU) for the pains it had taken in making excellent arrangements for the meeting even at such a short notice. Com B. R. Prajapati, president of the GJU highlighted the problems of journalists of Gujrat.</p>
<p>RESOLUTIONS Resolution Wage Board</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) meeting at Ahmedabad on 21st and 22nd 2005 strongly demands that Government of India should immediately set up new wage Board for journalists and non-journalist employees of the newspaper industry. The last wage board, headed by Justice Manisana Singh was constituted in September 1994 after the journalists under the leadership of Indian Journalists Union launched a massive agitation. As a matter of fact, the then Government which was not heeding the long pending demands of the journalists for wage board was forced to announce the setting up of the wage board, after the journalists boycotted the budget speech of the then Finance Minister and the present Prime Minister Mr. Man Mohan Singh and the newspaper employees struck work on that day forcing the populace of the National Capital Delhi go without their daily newspaper with budget news the next day.</p>
<p>It is already about seven years since the Manisana Wage Board recommendations came into force. In the meantime the real wages of the journalists were getting fast eroded. There is a lot of discontentment among the journalists and non-journalist employees of the newspaper industry on this score. It is high time new wage board is constituted without any further loss of time.</p>
<p>On 19th April 2005, the journalists and other newspaper employees under the banner of National Confederation of newspaper employees’ organizations held a massive rallies throughout the countries demanding the setting up of new wage board. Inspite of repeated assurances of the Union labour Minister Mr. K.Chandrasekhar Rao and the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mr. S.Jaipal Reddy inside and outside the Parliament that new wage board would be constituted soon, nothing has happened so far. Even the Standing Committee of Parliament on Labour strongly recommended formation of a new Wage Board for the journalists and newspaper employees.</p>
<p>The National Executive committee of the Indian Journalists Union urges upon the Government of India to immediately announce the setting up of the wage board for journalists and other newspaper employees before they come on to the streets to give vent to their anger and frustration.</p>
<p>The NEC of the IJU calls upon all the national level organizations of the journalists and other newspaper employees to intensify their struggle under the banner of National Confederation of Newspaper and news agencies employees to force the Central Government to constitute new wage board.</p>
<p>Amendments in the working Journalists Act.</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee of Indian Journalists Union (IJU) meeting at Ahmedabad on August 21st and 22nd 2005 urges upon the Government of India to bring comprehensive amendments to the Working Journalists and other newspaper employees Act to bring it in tune with the changing times. The Act, which was passed by the Parliament in 1955, has become archaic. In the last half century since the Act came into force, the media scenario changed beyond recognition.</p>
<p>New forms of media like 24 hours news channels and Internet media came into vogue in the last ten years. The Working Journalists Act covers only the journalists and others employees of the print media of the print media. As a matter of fact, the journalists and other employees of the new generation media have no law to regulate their working conditions, security of tenure or wages.</p>
<p>The Indian Journalists Union urges upon the Government of India to bring comprehensive amendments in the Working Journalists Act to cover all the journalists and other employees of all forms media whether print, electronics and web under its purview after discussing the matter with the representatives of the working journalists and other newspaper employees unions.</p>
<p>Since Contract Labour Act prohibits employment in perennial industries on contract basis. The working journalist act suitability to prohibit employment of journalist and other employees in media in contract basis.</p>
<p>Resolution on Media Commission</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) meeting at Ahmedabad on August 21st and 22nd 2005 notes that media scenario in the country has undergone enormous changes since the first and second Press commissions. After the second press commission submitted its report in 1982, information technology changed the face of the media in the world. In the last two decades since second press commission submitted its report, electronic and Internet media came on the scene in our country changing the way the news is disseminated and brought many problems in their wake.</p>
<p>Further, there is a strong feeling in the democratic polity that the newspapers are drifting away from their social responsibility. They are being more and commercialized. The commercial interests are taking precedence over the editorial content in the newspapers. The interference of business managers in the domain of news desk is on the increase. With the contract system of employment for journalists, the threat to freedom of press is becoming more pronounced. The tribe of news managers is sprouting up on the media scene. The mushrooming 24-hour news channels are trivializing and sensationalizing news to attract eyeballs. In their eagerness to reach the people before their rivals, channels are dishing out inaccurate and unconfirmed news.</p>
<p>The recommendations of the first and second press commissions over de-linking of ownership of newspapers from the big business and on the issue of cross media ownership were not implemented. The big newspapers with deep pockets are squeezing out the medium and small newspapers from the market by price wars.</p>
<p>In these circumstances, the Indian Journalists Union strongly feels that a new media commission should be appointed to go into whole gamut of issues concerning the media, electronic, Internet and print. It should also go into the editorial freedom from the prying managements and the freedom of the press in general.</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) strongly urges upon the Government of India to immediately constitute third Media Commission to define the contours of free press and the mode of the newspaper ownership.</p>
<p>Resolution On Europe And India: Building Paths To Equality In Journalism</p>
<p>HAVING CONSIDERED in great detail and deliberated upon</p>
<p>” the manner in which the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) first offered in Sept 2003 to and later, after quite some preliminary work had been done, unceremoniously and summarily withdrew from the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) this year the EU project on Europe and India: Building Path of Equality in Journalism;</p>
<p>” the way the IFJ Secretary General Aidan White obviously scouted for a new project partner without taking the IJU into confidence and negotiated with another Indian affiliate an agreement behind the back of the IJU before withdrawing the project from the IJU;</p>
<p>” the reports of the office-bearers, including President Suresh Akhouri and Secretary General K. Sreenivas Reddy, besides Ms Sabina Inderjit, the project coordinator nominated by the IJU Executive Committee at its Hyderabad meeting in Sept 18-19, 2004 on the talks they had had with Mr Aidan White on different occasions;</p>
<p>” the entire correspondence on the subject exchanged between the IJU leadership and Mr Aidan White; AS ALSO</p>
<p>” the past record of the IJU’s relationship with the IFJ</p>
<p>THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE of the Indian Journalists Union, meeting at Ahmedabad on August 21-22, 2005, recalls that it had approved of Ms Sabina Inderjit as the India coordinator of the project on the basis, among other factors, of the superlatives IFJ General Secretary Aidan White had admittedly used in assessing her suitability for the job, and, therefore,</p>
<p>” EXPRESSES its deep sense of shock and dismay at the manner in which the IFJ, through Mr Aidan White, scouted for and negotiated with a new Indian project partner without taking the IJU into confidence and, then, went back on its original position and withdrew the project from the IJU without showing adequate cause thereof;</p>
<p>” APPROVES fully and unreservedly the position taken by the IJU leadership on the issue in their talks with Mr Aidan White and otherwise;</p>
<p>” REITERATES that it does not see any “conflict of interest” between Ms Inderjit’s working as the India coordinator of the project and her membership of the IFJ Executive Committee because her appointment as coordinator was made by the IJU, and not the IFJ, and it was the IJU as India partner that was to monitor and oversee her work as coordinator;</p>
<p>” VIEWS with GRAVE CONCERN the frequent communication gaps between Mr White and the IJU leadership and the tendency in the former to violate the accepted forms and norms of communication between two independent organisations related closely with each other;</p>
<p>” RESOLVES to dissociate itself completely from the project, as the IJU has felt cheated and has not been treated honestly and fairly by the IFJ General Secretary, who has sought to impose his decisions on the IJU</p>
<p>” CALLS UPON the IFJ to evolve a detailed code of relationship between the two organisations through a dialogue, or some other suitable mechanism, to ensure that, if desired, our future relationship rests on a stronger basis; AND that the outcome of the deliberations would help the IJU in formulating its future relations with the IFJ</p>
<p>” URGES the IFJ Executive Committee to review its approach to the affiliates, decide the question of “conflict of interest” after detailed consideration and on the basis of accepted norms of jurisprudence, and evolve ways to ensure that there are no communication gaps between its office-bearers and its affiliates, some of whom may be as zealous of their self-respect as the IJU.</p>
<p>Resolution On IFJ Indifference To Sabina Iderjit</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalist Union (IJU) held at Ahmedabad on August 21-22, 2005 expresses grave concern at the systematic marginalization and isolation of the IJU by the IFJ in its counsels. So much so that even Sabina Inderjit, an elected member of the IFJ executive committee, who happens to be the IJU member is being ignored by the IFJ in regard to its activities related to the Asia Pacific region in her capacity as an elected member of the IFJ Executive Committee. Sabina Inderjit is not even properly recognized by the IFJ as an ExCom member, and is treated solely as an IJU representative. It is regretted that she has been systematically kept out of the activities in the region and far from being consulted; she is often kept unaware of conferences, workshops, missions in the region, for reasons best known to the IFJ and its Asia Pacific office.</p>
<p>She has even been told that if she wishes to participate in activities she may do so under the sponsorship of the IJU, thereby making it clear that any role played by her as an IFJ Ex-Com member is unwelcome. This attitude of the IFJ towards Sabina Inderjit is discriminatory and amounts to injustice not only to her but to Indian journalists and the IJU.</p>
<p>The IJU is a democratic body of journalists in India and regrets such arbitrary functioning of the IFJ Secretariat and its Asia Pacific office and appeals to the IFJ Executive Committee and the Congress to uphold the established democratic norms of trade unionism.</p>
<p>Resolution On Illegal sacking of Hindustan Times employees</p>
<p>This meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) held in Ahmadabad on August 21-22, 2005 condemns the illegal and arbitrary sack of 362 permanent employees by the Hindustan Times management on Gandhi Jayanti last year. While fully supporting the just cause of the sacked employees and the Hindustan Times Employees Union, this meeting expresses its deep sense of shock and consternation at the Government’s failure to book the Hindustan Times management for this blatant violation of the law of the land. It condemns the inaction of both the Union and Delhi Governments at their failure to intervene effectively against this violation with impunity of both the Working Journalists and Industrial Disputes Acts.</p>
<p>Such a wholesale sack of permanent employees covered by Wage Board awards just to reduce the labour costs of a profitable company is a rare occurrence in this country. That it happened in the newspaper industry in the country’s Capital under the very nose of the Union Government clearly is a sign of things to come. More so, because the management did this by making a colourable use of Section 25 (FF) of the ID Act. This it did by forming a wholly owned subsidiary without a change of ownership and subsequently an Australian investor being given an equity participation just about 15 per cent while retaining the rest of the equity with Hindustan Times Limited, that is, itself. There is no change of ownership in fact and the fiction that the new company has refused to accept the services of HT employees amounts to saying that the left hand was refusing to take what the right was offering. If allowed to go unresisted, it could set a pattern for the entire economy and embolden all employers to make nonsense of the country’s labour law by resorting to the stratagem of partnering a paper firm abroad and, then, sacking all its permanent employees by exploiting Section 25 (FF) provisions. Using the same yardstick, if this attempt of the Hindustan Times is successful, any employer in the country shall be free to fire its workforce just by changing its nameplate.</p>
<p>In the newspaper industry, it could set the stage for similar actions by other managements to force the contract system down the throats of unwilling employees and, thus, defeat the very purpose for which wage boards are set up.</p>
<p>The trade union movement of the country cannot afford to take this illegality and injustice lying down. The IJU is fully alive to the dangers this precedent, if allowed to be set, portends for the newspaper industry, in particular, and the entire industrial sector in general.</p>
<p>While assuring the struggling Hindustan Times workers and their union of the unstinted support of the IJU’s affiliated unions and this meeting calls upon the Government to take punitive action against this blatant illegality. It also urges the Government to so amend the ID Act that no employer can take recourse to such tricks to deprive workmen of their jobs and other rights.</p>
<p>This meeting also calls upon all concerned to appreciate the gravity of the issues involved and join their hands to defeat the nefarious designs of Hindustan Times management and force the Government to ensure earliest reinstatement of these 362 employees and to take preventive legal action for the future. The law must be amended to expressly prohibit such conspiratorial use of FDI and Section 25 (FF) and other provisions of the ID Act.</p>
<p>Let us not fail history, because this one lapse could spell the doom for the entire working class of the country.</p>
<p>To express solidarity of the entire country’s working journalist and other newspaper employees with struggling Hindustan Times employees union, the NEC resolve to observe nation wide solidarity they on 2nd October 2005, which will mark the completion of one year of the struggling HT employees and Black Day on which the HT management committed this illegality. The NEC authorizes the IJU president and secretary general to make this proposal to the confederation of newspaper and news agency employees organizations for joint action.</p>
<p>Resolution On Promotion Of Journalists Working On Wage board</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee of India Journalists Union(IJU), meeting at Ahmedabad on August 21-22, 2005, expresses its serious concern over the ban imposed on the promotion of Wage Board-governed journalists in various newspapers by the managements in the country and demands the immediate restoration of the right of all working journalists to their due promotions.</p>
<p>The NEC also appeals to the Union Government to introduce an assured career promotion scheme for Wage Board-governed journalists.</p>
<p>Resolution On FDI In Print Media</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee of India Journalists Union, meeting at Ahmedabad on August 21-22, 2005 expresses its deep concern over the fact that more and more pressure is being exerted by international finance capital to make further inroads into the Indian print media through the FDI. Such attempts, if allowed to go unchecked, would eventually lead to a situation where the decisions of the Government led by India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, banning the publication of foreign newspapers, journals, magazines, etc, from the Indian soil, as recommended by the first Press Commission in its monumental report in 1954, would lose all its sanctity and validity. Perturbed by the fact that owners of some American newspapers, using FDI, have already started printing, publishing and selling their papers in India with impunity, thus serving American imperialist aims and harming the interests of India, this meeting after considering all aspects of the situation, has come to the conclusion that the Government of India should take immediate steps to ban the publications of foreign newspapers from the Indian soil and give legal sanctity to the 1955 Cabinet decision banning such foreign publication.</p>
<p>The NEC also urges the Government of India to withdraw permission to the Indian newspaper owner allowing 26 percent foreign direct investment.</p>
<p>Resolution On Media Monopoly</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalist Union at its meeting held at Ahmedabad on 21-22 August 2005, having considered the growing interlinking of media and the complex web of relationship they are developing, expresses its great concern at ownership of information structure passing into the hands of Indian and Foreign monopolies and vested interest.</p>
<p>Several major newspaper groups have entered the arena of television news and entertainment channels and vice-versa. Besides, foreign media channels and newspapers groups have linked up with Indian media oligopolies. The next step in this could well be international finance entering the media merger-acquisition-joint structures. This puts what concerned media experts have termed as “exceptional power into the hands of international financiers and money managers who have extraordinary influence in the development of media companies themselves”.</p>
<p>The NEC warns the Government and Parliament about the grave dangers of such complex systems with international dimensions acquiring such extraordinary power over Indian media which they are bound to use not only to promote their narrow interests but also sabotage national security. More so, in an environment where working journalist loose protection of legislation against arbitrary dismissals and transfers. In New Delhi itself, 362 employees of Hindustan Times group where summarily removed without any notice when that group teamed up with a foreign concern. In Hyderabad, a foreign publication with its Indian partner has been defying the rules made by the Government itself on foreign publications in India.</p>
<p>If despite such open defines of the laws of the land by these web of evil the Government still soft pedals their threat, it would be essential for concerned citizenry to rise in revolt against this policy of selling the down the drain.</p>
<p>The IJU is determined to fight this menace and awaken public opinion against Governments laxity in enforcing even its own minimum rules in restricting this oligopolistic combination of Indian media and foreign interest.</p>
<p>Resolution On Tamil Nadu</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalist Union (IJU), meeting at Ahmedabad on August 21-22 2005, strongly protests against the Tamil Nadu government’s failure to implement the scheme to assist the bereaved families of journalists that Chief Minister Jayalalitha had announced with much fanfare in her Budget speech in the State Assembly. The scheme committed the State Government to granting an assistance of Rs 200,000 to the bereaved families of working journalists on their death, but the scheme remained a dead letter until recently, when the assistance was provided to the families of just three journalists, all related to the ruling party. The committee regretted such discriminatory implementation of the scheme and called for its uniform application by the State Government in all cases.</p>
<p>Resolution On Andhra Pradesh</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalist Union (IJU), which met at Ahmedabad on August 21-22 2005, appreciated the Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ) on its alertness in reacting strongly to and securing the withdrawal of Chief Minister Y. Rajasekhara Reddy’s statement warning mediapersons against interviewing extremist leaders since that constituted a “culpable offence”. The media, on the other hand, should report to the State government whatever information it collected about their activities, he had said. The IJU had condemned the statement as an attack on the freedom of the Press and the APUWJ had taken up the matter with the Chief Minister, who realised that he had committed a faux pas and withdrew the statement.</p>
<p>The Committee is confident that the APUWJ and other State unions will display similar alertness in the future too against any threat to the freedom of the Press.</p>
<p>Resolution On Solidarity To Nepal’s Journalists</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) meeting in Ahmedabad on 21st and 22nd August 2005 strongly condemns declaration of state of emergency and suspension of the constitutional right to freedom of the press and democratic rights of the people by the King Gyanendra in Nepal. King Gyanendra dismissed the democratically elected government of Sher Bahadur Deuba on 1 February 2005 and declared a state of emergency. The king also suspended constitutional rights to freedom of press, speech and expression, to assemble peacefully, to privacy and against preventive detention. The King imposed six-month ban on negative reports on himself and the government and stationed soldiers at radio stations and newspaper offices across the nation to enforce censorship. He forcible shut down all independent press, and the banned FM radio stations.</p>
<p>Several Journalists including the leaders of the Federation of Nepali Journalists were arrested. Under pressure from the Journalists trade Unions and other democratic forces world over, the King was forced to release some of the arrested journalists. There is still a grave threat to the safety of journalists working in Nepal.</p>
<p>The Indian Journalists Union expresses its solidarity to the struggling journalists of Nepal and pledges to extend all possible help to them. It demands that the King to reinstate the constitutional right to freedom of the press, speech, expression and association that existed before the coup. Censorship has robbed Nepalese journalists of democracy, their human rights, and now their livelihoods. It urges upon the Government of India to put maximum pressure on the King of Nepal to restore fundamental democratic rights of the journalists and the people. It calls upon the Government to stop all Defense related aid to the Government of Nepal until the state of emergency is lifted and all democratic rights are fully restored.</p>
<p>It decides to observe August 30th as the Global Day of Action for press freedom in Nepal as per the call given by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). The National Executive Committee calls upon all State Unions to chalk out programmes to express their solidarity with the struggling Nepalese journalists on 30th August 2005 in a befitting manner.</p>
<p>Resolution On Contract Employment</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalist Union at its meeting held at Ahmedabad on 21-22 August 2005, notes with great concern the increasing employment of journalist and other newspaper employees on contract basis. The NEC is of the opinion that employment of journalists and other newspaper employees on contact basis is a game of the employers to deprive his employees of their legitimate and legal rites of wages, bonus, gratuity and benefits of other labour laws and to create a new section of employees away from the mainstream of newspaper employees. A person who is employed in newspaper industry, works under the Working Journalist Act and as such is governed by Industrial Employment (Standing Order) Act which protects such persons who are entitled to the benefits of all labour laws and as such covered by Wage Boards and their recommendations.</p>
<p>The NEC is of the opinion that in order to remove all doubts and in order to make it known to newspaper employees, the government should amend the Working Journalist Act to provide an exhaustive definition of working journalist and other newspaper employees to cover contact employees, columnists or call them by any other name, to be treated as newspaper employees.</p>
<p>The NEC also sees this system of employment as a threat to the freedom of the press as a contract journalist is more vulnerable to threats from employer to toe their line to safeguard his or her job.</p>
<p>The NEC favours an assured career progression scheme for Wage Board Employees and calls upon the newspaper employees particularly contract employees and workers to unite and fight for protecting their interest under the labour laws and to do away with employers rising attitude of heir and fire of these persons.</p>
<p>Resolution on Formation of confederation of India-Pakistan Newspaper And News Agency employees’ organizations</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) meeting at Ahmedabad on August 21st and 22nd 2005 welcomes the proposal of the Pakistani journalists for the formation of Confederation of India-Pakistan newspaper and news agency employees’ organizations. Considering the similarity of problems being faced by the journalists and other employees working in newspapers and news agencies in both the countries, it is would be in their interest to pool their experiences and resources to fight for the better living and working conditions.</p>
<p>The Indian Journalists Union calls upon the National Confederation of newspaper and agency employees to take urgent steps to form a Confederation of India-Pakistan confederation of journalists and non-journalists of the two countries.</p>
<p>Resolution On Confederation of Newspaper and News Agency Employees’ Organisations</p>
<p>This meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU), held at Ahmedabad on August 21-22 2005, places on records its appreciation of the efforts of the IJU leadership to help build greater unity among the country’s newspaper employees. While happily ratifying their decision to set up, along with four other newspaper employees’ organisation, the Confederation of Newspaper and News Agency Employees’ Organisations, it congratulates all these organisations on the occasion.</p>
<p>The meeting also extends its greetings on the occasion to members of the four organisations, namely, the AINEF, the NUJ-I, the PTI Employees Union and the UNI Employees Union and calls upon all newspaper employees to strengthen the Confederation and their unity to fight for the defence of their rights.<br />

IJU National Executive Committee Meeting</p>
<p>Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, September 18-19, 2004</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee meeting was held in Hyderabad on 18-19, September, 2004. It was presided over by Com. Suresh Akhouri, President, IJU. The venue of the meeting was ” Desoddharaka Bhavan ” the office of the Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists (APUWJ).</p>
<p>The Secretary-General welcomed the members of NEC and Presidents and General Secretaries of the various State Unions. Com. D. Amar, President of the host Union (APUWJ) thanked the IJU for giving an opportunity to host the NEC in Hyderabad.</p>
<p>The President, in his opening remarks narrated the media situation in the country and demanded that Government of India should immediately set up new wage Board for journalists and non-journalist 0employees of the newspaper industry and Third Media Commission. He expressed concern over the inordinately delay in notifying the IX the Press Council of India and Central Press Accreditation Committee by Government of India.</p>
<p>The President stressed that all unions working the newspaper industry should come together for united action to achieve new wage board for journalists and non-journalists in newspaper industry which is over due.</p>
<p>He informed the meeting that this time also we have succeeded in getting representation to our Union in the IXth Press Council of India. Com. K. Sreenivas Reddy, Secretary-General, Com. Geetarth Pathak (Assam) and Com. Devendra Chintan, (New Delhi) got elected with cooperation of Press Association and Working News Cameramen Association. It is also heartening to note that Com. S.N. Sinha, President of WNCA was also elected to the PCI from WNCA.</p>
<p>The President also informed members that Com. Sabina Indrajit, member of NEC, was elected to the Executive of IFJ for the second consecutive term with thumbing majority in the month of June at Athens, Greece, where the IFJ congress was held.</p>
<p>The Secretary-General in his speech, explained that in spite of unanimous recommendation from Labour Standing Committee of Parliament, headed by P.K. Vasudevan Nair, urgent need of constitution of new wage board for the newspaper employees in the country, the Government of India is dilly-dallying the issue. The Secretary-General read out a memorandum submitted to Union Information and Broadcasting Minister. Mr. S. Jaipal Reddy at New Delhi by IJU delegation.</p>
<p>On 18th after noon members of the NEC interacted with the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy at the State Secretariat. He supported the demand of IJU for setting up a new wage board.</p>
<p>Before adjourning the morning session, the NEC adopted two resolutions one on constitution of media commission and another on notification for reconstitution of IXth Press Council of India.</p>
<p>The resolution adopted on Media Commission:</p>
<p>RESOLUTIONS</p>
<p>Media Commission</p>
<p>The National Executive of IJU meeting at Hyderabad on September 18th & 19th, 2004 notes that media scenario in the country has undergone enormous changes since the first and second Press commissions. After the second press commission submitted its report in 1982, information technology changed the face of the media in the world. In the last two decades since second press commission submitted its report, electronic and Internet media came on the scene in our country changing the way the news is disseminated and brought many problems in their wake.</p>
<p>Further, there is a strong feeling in the democratic polity that the newspapers are drifting away from their social responsibility. They are being more and commercialized. The commercial interests are taking precedence over the editorial content in the newspapers. The interference of business managers in the domain of news desk is on the increase. With the contract system of employment for journalists, the threat to freedom of press is becoming more pronounced. The tribe of news managers is sprouting up on the media scene.</p>
<p>The recommendations of the first and second press commissions over de-linking of ownership of newspapers from the big business and on the issue of cross media ownership were not implemented. The big newspapers with deep pockets are squeezing out the medium and small newspapers from the market by price wars.</p>
<p>In these circumstances, the Indian Journalists Union strongly feels that a new media commission should be appointed to go into whole gamut of issues concerning the media, electronic, Internet and print. It should also go into the editorial freedom from the prying managements and the freedom of the press in general.</p>
<p>The National Executive of the IJU strongly urges upon the Government of India to immediately constitute third Media Commission to define the contours of free press and the mode of the newspaper ownership.</p>
<p>The resolution on IXth Press Council of India</p>
<p>The National Executive of Indian Journalists Union meeting at Hyderabad on September 18th & 19th, 2004 expresses its deep concern at the inordinate delay in issuing the notification reconstituting the IX Press Council of India. The term of the out going VIII council ended in May 2004 and the process of selection of the members was completed in the 2nd week of July last. The Press Council Of India sent the list of the members to the Government of India. The Government of India is yet to notify reconstitution of the new Press Council of India even though, more than two months elapsed since the whole process was over and more than four months since the term of the last council came to an end. The Government is unnecessarily delaying the issuing of the notification. The PCI is the only statutory body for safeguarding the independence of the press and upholding the professional ethics and oversees the media issues. The inordinate delay in reconstituting the PCI is not fair on the part of the government. The NEC of IJU urges upon the Central Government to immediately notify the next Press Council of India without any further delay.</p>
<p>In the evening session leaders of various State Unions gave reports on their activities. Geetartha Pthak (Assam) informed the members about the killing spree of extremists in Assam. So far 16 journalists have been killed and in North Eastern States. He reviewed the situation of working journalists of newspaper employees in the state. He said the situation was in a very bad shape as the managements were not giving letters of appointments or paying due wages. Governments were not taking any action against the erring managements.</p>
<p>Ambati Anjaneyulu, General Secretary, APUWJ narrated how the APUWJ fought for payment of wages to the employees of Andhra Prabha one of the oldest, reputed dailies in the state after changing the management. He said that at the behest of APUWJ, Group Mediclaim Insurance Policy was launched on August 15, 2004 by the Chief Minister for Working Journalists in the State. Under the scheme medical expenses upto one lakh rupees would be met by Insurance Company for four members of family of journalist including the journalist. About 2,500 journalists were covered under this scheme.</p>
<p>Arun Kumar (Bihar) said in Bihar major newspapers were giving appointments under contract system instead regular appointments. One journalist was killed and another serious inujred in separate attacks by mafia.</p>
<p>Com. Dinesh Chandra (Delhi) stressed the urgent need of programme of action for the appointment of new wage board while cautioning against joint actions with NUJ.</p>
<p>Com. Ravindra Doss (Tamilnadu) told the meeting that the State Government headed by Jayalalitha was most unhelpful towards the journalists. He said she stopped payment pension to journalists in the state, which was introduced by her predecessor. The Tamilnadu Union of Journalists is to floating trust to pay pension to the journalists in distress. He explained the details of welfare activities undertaken by the state Union.</p>
<p>Com. Prasant Patnaik (Orissa) said the Government of Orissa while appointing member for the Accreditation Committee showed discrimination against OUWJ.</p>
<p>Com. Sunil Das (West Bengal) explained the plight of journalists working in the Basumati daily, which ceased publication and other newspapers.</p>
<p>Com. Mazhar Azad (U.P.) explained the situation in Uttar Pradesh visa- vis journalists.</p>
<p>Com. Vinod Kohili (Chandigarah) suggested that our State Unions should exchange delegations of the unions members to understand the situation and cultural heritages.</p>
<p>On 19th morning session discussions took place on action programme for constitution of new wage board and adoption of a resolution. Com. President informed the member, that there is meeting of union’s representative at New Delhi on 30the Sept and in this connection he had a talk with K. L. Kapur of AINEF, com. M. S. Yadav of PTI Federation and com. S.N. Sinha.</p>
<p>Resolution on Wage Board: The National Executive of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) meeting at Hyderabad on 18th and 19th 2004 strongly demands that Government of India should immediately set up new wage Board for journalists and non-journalist employees of the newspaper industry. The last wage board, headed by Justice Manisana Singh was constituted in September, 1994 after the journalists under the leadership of Indian Journalists launched a massive agitation. As a matter of fact, the then Government which was not heeding the long pending demands of the journalists for wage board was forced to announce the setting up of the wage board, after the journalists boycotted the budget speech of the then Finance Minister and the present Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh and the newspaper struck work on that day forcing the populace of the National Capital Delhi go without their daily newspaper with budget news the next day.</p>
<p>Rattled over the strike action of the journalists and non-journalist employees of the newspaper industry, the then Prime Minister Mr. P.V.Narasimha Rao was forced to announce the setting up of the new wage board. Then, the Government took its own time to appoint Chairman and members of the Wage board. After taking over four years, the wage board submitted its report. They were implemented with effect from January, 1998. The recommendations of the wage board were far below the expectations of the journalists. Even those recommendations were not implemented by most of the newspapers in the country.</p>
<p>It is already about six years since the Manisana Wage Board recommendations came into force. In the meantime the real wages of the journalists were getting fast eroded. There is a lot of discontentment among the journalists on this score. It is high time new wage board is constituted without any further loss of time. In recent past the Union Labour Minister Mr. Sis Ram Ola made public statements that they would consider the demand of the journalists and other newspaper employees for new wage board. The Standing Committee of Parliament on Labour also strongly recommended formation of a new Wage Board for the journalists and newspaper employees.</p>
<p>The National Executive of the Indian Journalists urges upon the Government of India to immediately announce the setting up of the wage board for journalists and other newspaper employees before they come on to the streets give vent to their anger frustration.</p>
<p>The NEC of IJU calls upon all the national level organizations of the journalists and other newspaper employees come on a common platform for united actions to achieve new wage board. A confederation of all the journalists and newspaper employees should be formed for the purpose. The NEC authorizes the President and Secretary General to take steps to bring unity among the national unions of newspaper and news agency employees and to hold dialogue with them to wage a united struggle to achieve better living and working conditions to the employees of the newspaper industry.</p>
<p>India Project on Women</p>
<p>Later Com. Secretary-General explained the India project on Women Journalists. Com. Sabina submitted a note explaining sailant features by the project.</p>
<p>It is a project called ” Europe and India: Building Paths to Equality in journalism “.</p>
<p>1. Project objective: is of increasing dialogue between key journalists groups in Europe and India and establishing viable and lasting networks among journalists in India through its series of initiatives to improve the quality of journalism and raise the status of women in journalism in India.</p>
<p>2. The IFJ is the applicant, will oversee the project and be responsible for it. The Partners are: India: IJU lead partner. (It will provide the facilities, structure and local expertise for implementation of the project. The national structure will also enable the project to work throughout India and not be restricted to main cities.</p>
<p>3. Europe: Deutscher Jornalism Verband- DJV (Germany) & National Union of Journalists, NUJ (UK & Ireland). They will provide expertise from their gender equality programmes and host the exchange visits and organize one-day seminars for visiting Indian journalists.</p>
<p>4. The project is funded by the European Union, however 20 per cent of the contribution is to come from applicant (which includes the partners). The EU will provide 497986 Euro, the 20 % is applicant’s contribution: 124498 Euro.</p>
<p>5. It is a two-year project and will be completed by June 2006.</p>
<p>6. The target group: are membership of journalists’ unions in India and women working in journalism throughout India in all sectors. It is expected that more than 1000 journalists and union leaders will directly benefit from participation in activities of the project with published material and information services reaching the membership of Indian journalists unions. The target group is not women alone, but includes representatives of union leaderships and wider membership of the journalists unions with the aim of creating a broadly- based body of support of the project objectives</p>
<p>The activities to be undertaken in the project shall be the following in various stages:</p>
<p>7. Survey on Women in Journalism in India. It will deal with: 1. Situation of Indian women journalists: (a) covering training, access to the profession, discrimination, pay, sexual harassment, access to responsible positions, membership to the Unions, employment etc (b) Best practice examples on equality provisions achieved in collective bargaining by IFJ affiliates in Europe and India and how these might be applied effectively in both regions. 2. Launch of survey in all regions of India and directed in all sectors of information and communication: radio, television, print, news agencies, on-line information services and freelance agencies. The questionnaire will be translated into 7 languages and distributed throughout India. A survey report (300 copies) has to be prepared. All this will be organized by the IJU. Also posters and leaflets have to be prepared and distributed all over.</p>
<p>8. Analysis and assessment of survey results and definition of practical follow-up to be defined through a National Conference to assess results, 40 participants. To be organized by the IJU.</p>
<p>9. EU-India Media Women’s Network: establishment of an Indian and European women journalists network to share, compare and learn from each others experience and look at the European policies on issues on women and journalism. Women journalists delegations selected by IFJ affiliates in India will visit IFJ affiliates in Europe and other journalists institutions and media organizations. There will be 4 seven-day missions (two every year) of 10 women journalists to Europe. Each visit will involve: 2-day visit to NUJ, London, 2 day visit to DVJ, Bonn ort Berlin, 1-day visit to IFJ Secretariat, Brussels, 1-day visit to EJC, Maastricht and 1-day visit to European Commission, Brussels. To be organized by the EU-IJU.</p>
<p>10. Two regional meetings will be held on training and union organizing in India with representatives from media, civil society, NGOs and policy makers, organized by the IJU.</p>
<p>A campaign will be organized following the survey results. There will be gender equity workshops to train women journalists and local union leadership on developing policies and actions that promote equality. To be undertaken by the IJU</p>
<p>A newsletter (in all four) and a website will be organized jointly by the EU- IJU.</p>
<p>A handbook will finally be developed from results of survey and meetings held in the first year.</p>
<p>After the discussion at length on implementation of project the N. E.C. Resolved:</p>
<p>Com. Sabina Indrajit (New Delhi) appointed as India Project Coordinator and the project office should be located at Hyderabad in APUWJ office and authorized Secretary-General to appoint project Asst. and accountant for the project office in Andhra Pradesh.</p>
<p>The NEC also constituted a five member committee with Comrades, Suresh Akhouri, K. Sreeenivas Reddy, S.N. Sinha, Madan Singh and Geetarth Pathak, President, Secretary-General, Treasurer, Secretaries of IJU respectively to oversee the implementation and consultation.</p>
<p>Earlier Secretary-General also explained in detail the discussions held by IJU leadership with Aiden White, General Secretary, IFJ on his Delhi visit in August, 2004. The NEC endorsed the activites initiated and taken by the President and Secretary-General on the project and authorized them to go ahead with the project implementation.</p>
<p>On the night of 19th September, the Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists hosted a dinner in honor of the National Council Members and Special invitees at the Press Club of Hyderabad. Several senior journalists and local leaders of the APUWJ also attended the dinner and had a fruitful interaction with the visiting journalists.</p>
<p>The President and Secretary-General thanked the leaders of the Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists for hosting the conference and making excellent arrangements for the hospitality of the members of the National Executive.</p>
<p>The General Secretary of the APUWJ, Ambati Anjaneyulu proposed a vote of thanks.

IJU National Executive Committee Meeting</p>
<p>Chandigarh, December 9-10 2003</p>
<p>RESOLUTIONS</p>
<p>This meeting of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) National Executive Committee held at Chandigarh on December 9-10, 2003, views with serious concern the deteriorating working and service conditions in the country’s newspaper industry. As pointed out by this union on several occasions during the past few years, the Government’s policies have been encouraging employers to deprive the working journalists and other newspaper employees of their hard-won rights, gains and facilities through the crafty contract system. Our demand, raised from this forum on every occasion, to abolish the contract system has been conveniently ignored by the government. The employers, therefore, having making full use of this stratagem to affect the service and working conditions adversely against the employers and workmen. The situation in most newspapers has become so grave that no appointment is being made on wage board mandated scales of pay. Even those who are already been under these pay scales are being persuaded and compelled to accept employment on contracts. This is seriously affecting the job-security of the working journalists, and hence, the freedom of the press. An insecure working journalists falls an easy prey to dance to the tune of the employers. Other labour laws are also being held to ransom by the employers.</p>
<p>The Government obviously is hand in glove with the employers in pursuing this I.M.F.-led step to enforce by design, what is euphemistically being called “labour reforms”, but is infact aimed giving the employers a free hand to hire and fire workmen and to impose upon them whatever working and service condition they want to. The contract system undoubtedly helps them in undermining the trade unions and, thus, weakening workers unity. The IJU together with the other trade union organizations in the country will have to fight and defeat these attacks on the trade union and other rights won by our predecessors, even before independence.</p>
<p>The IJU is aware that this struggle is not going to be easy. It is also conscious that the employers must not be allowed to divide the working journalists and other employees between contractwallas and wageboardwallas. This meeting, therefore, calls upon all our state unions, in particular, and all working journalists and other employees, in general, to close their bonds, defeat the tactic to drive a wedge between wageboard and contract categories of workers. The need of the hour is to unite and put together, not to divide and fall apart.</p>
<p>The National Executive Committee, therefore, appeals to all state unions of the I.J.U. to make a common cause with other democratic forces and unite to pressurize the Government and force it to hold its hand and refrain from leading the country away from the cherished goals of the freedom struggle.</p>
<p>RESOLUTIONS</p>
<p>The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) has been noticing an increasing tendency among the various institutions of the state to arrogantly assert their respective “rights, privileges and powers” to the exclusion of all others. The tendency obviously suits the entrenched vested interests. It, therefore, needs to be curbed.</p>
<p>The Tamilnadu state Assembly’s recent order to arrest four journalists of Chennai leading national daily ‘The Hindu’ is a case in point. After carefully recapitulating the successive developments in the state until the Supreme Court negatived the free run of arbitrary actions, this meeting of the IJU National Executive Committee congratulates the working journalists’ movement and other democratic forces on their actions in fighting and defeating the state governments attack on the freedom of the Press.</p>
<p>The IJU, however, feels that such adhoc measures and one time displays of unity will not be enough to and end to such arrogant and trigger-happy actions of various institutions who should, infact work together and in cooperation to strengthen the roots of democracy in the country.</p>
<p>The IJU, calls upon all the media organizations to institutionalize a set up to conduct the future struggles against any repetition of such incidence.

IJU 5th Plenary Session</p>
<p>Chennai, Tamil Nadu, April 19-21 2003</p>
<p>RESOLUTIONS</p>
<p>I – On the state of Newspaper Industry and the Journalists in the country</p>
<p>This Plenary session of the IJU, held at Chennai on April 19-21, 2003, expresses its grave concern at the deteriorating work environment and working and service conditions in the newspaper industry, which have shown no signs of improvement over the past few years. In spite of our consistent efforts to secure government action and the employers’ cooperation to improve the situation, in fact, neither these nor the notification of the Manisana Singh wage board awards has helped improve it . The awards remain unimplemented in most newspaper establishments, not only in the small and state capitals but in the major metropolises. The IJU’s repeated and persistent appeals to the various governments to ensure their implementations and setup a tripartite committee to monitor and oversee it have fallen by and large on deaf ears.</p>
<p>The fate of our appeals to abolish the contract system and to enforce various labour laws has also been no different. A large number of employers are circumventing the provisions of the Working Journalists Act and other labour laws by taking recourse to the contract system and employing journalists on the basis of all-inclusive “package”. Most other are not even appointment letters and flouting even the payment of wages and Minimum Wages Act with impunity. The question of following other labour laws does not even arise in these circumstances.</p>
<p>Even while working with missionary spirit against all such odds, the journalists are facing other difficulties in form of vicious attacks from both anti-social elements and law-enforcing agencies. The attacks on them by terrorists are already well known, so are those by the establishment and corrupt politicians. Who does not know the fate of the intrepid Kashmiri Journalists, who are arrested and confined in jail for a long period without even a shred of evidence.</p>
<p>The situation is far too serious than it was even a few years ago. Not only the life and limb and job security and wages of journalists are under threat but even the freedom of press is in jeopardy. The Central Press Accreditation Committee (CPAC) and other institutions setup to ensure and guarantee it are being packed by the governments with pliant yes persons.</p>
<p>We call upon union and state governments to give up their anti-media approach and appreciate that the freedom of press is vital for the health of the democracy. This session also appeals to all democratic forces in the country and our state unions and all fellow-journalists to appreciate the need of the hour and prepare to put up a united fight for the defense of press and its freedom.</p>
<p>II – On setting of a fresh Wage Board</p>
<p>Cognisant of the fact that the Manisana Singh wage awards based the salary structure on the situation a decade ago, the Chennai Plenary session of IJU urge the government to set up a fresh wage board to review the entire range of salaries and other benefits in the newspaper industry.</p>
<p>While taking comfort from the fact that even Union Labour Minister Sahib Singh Verma is aware of the need to review both the awards, this session demands that the Government also amend the relevant legal provision to declare the non-implementation of wage awards a cognizable criminal offence.</p>
<p>Since a large number of working journalists is employed in the electronic media, it would only be fare that they too, be covered by the next wage board and various labour laws in the country.</p>
<p>III – On Arrest of Nakeeran Gopal under POTA</p>
<p>TThe Indian Journalists Union (IJU) Chennai Plenary Session strongly condemns the arrest of senior journalist and Editor of Nakeeran Weekly, Nakeeran Gopal under Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) by the Government of Tamil Nadu. This is yet anther example of the state governments of using POTA to harass and victimise journalists who were carrying out their legitimate duties. The IJU urged the Union and State Governments to desist from misusing the POTA to browbate none- pliable journalists into submission. The misuse of POTA against journalists is infact an attack on the freedom of the Press and the IJU pledges to fight against this draconian law.</p>
<p>The IJU calls upon the journalist community in the country to rally round the victims of POTA and force the Tamil Nadu government to release Nakeeran Gopal immediately and unconditionally.</p>
<p>IV – On Second Labour Commision</p>
<p>The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) Chennai Plenary Session strongly condemns the recommendations of second Labour Commission which are clearly anti-labour and retrograde. The recommendations smack off a pro-employer policy in the grab of encouraging investment in the country, the commission unfortunately recommended labour laws, which favors only the employers. The commission recommends doing away with the wage boards and seeks to promote contractual employment which will adversely affect the independence of press. The IJU is committed to fight against anti-labour recommendations of the commission along with other sections of the working class.</p>
<p>V – On constitution of Media commision</p>
<p>Taking a note of the revolution in the field of Information Technology, the Indian Journalists Union expresses its deep regret that the Union Government has paid no heed to the demand for the constitution of a Media Commission.</p>
<p>The setting up of such a Media Commission has become all the more essential in the face of the rapid growth of not only Television journalism but also the Internet, web magazines/sites and print media. Unfortunately, the journalists working for television channels and the web magazines are not governed by or regulated by the Working Journalists Act or for that matter any other labour laws.</p>
<p>The emergence of new sector has changed the media scenario and the working conditions of the journalists. Regrettably, the journalists working in the Television Channels or on the websites have no rights, regulated working hours or any other privileges like the journalists in the print media.</p>
<p>The IJU ,therefore, demands that a Media Commission be constituted under the chairmanship of sitting Supreme Court Judge to examine all the above aspects and make suitable recommendations to ensure a free and responsible press.</p>
<p>VI- On non-implementation of Manisana Singh Wage Award</p>
<p>The Indian Journalists Unions (IJU) Chennai Plenary Session takes a serious view of the non-implementation of Manisana Singh Wage Awards by newspaper establishments. The recommendations of the Wage Board were notified in July 2000, it is deeply regretted that nearly three years have gone by and Central and State Governments have failed to ensure the implementation of the Wage Board Awards. IJU demands immediate implementation of the statutory awards by the erring newspaper establishments.</p>
<p>VII – On FDI in print media</p>
<p>The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) Chennai Plenary Session strongly protests against the Union Cabinets decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in the print media. The arbitrary decision will not only compromise the country’s sovereignty but will affect the vibrant growth of democracy, which is already under pressure from the west especially the MNCs. The policy of keeping the foreign print media out was a conscious decision taken way back in 1955 under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, which was endorsed by Rajiv Gandhi and Narsimha Rao’s government. The NDA government’s decision to overturn this policy smacks off authoritarianism and an unseemly hurry to kowtow before foreign, particularly US interests. The arguments that the 26% limit on foreign equity and that the condition that editorial control must remain in Indian hands will be enough to safe guard and serve the national interests is not convincing, prima facie. Since we know that the corporate culture in this country allows the promoters to control their companies even with 7-10% equity holding? IJU, therefore, protest this move of NDA government and urges the NDA Government to reconsider its decision.</p>
<p>VIII – On Attack and Killing of Journalists in the North East</p>
<p>The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) Chennai Plenary Session expresses deep concern at the continuing attack and killing of journalists in the troubled-torn North Eastern region, in general, and Assam in particular. Unidentified assailants killed Parag Kumar Das, Executive Editor of Asomiya Pratidin (Assamese Daily) in 1996. Although a CBI enquiry was ordered, the state government failed to nab the killers even after 6 years. Assam has lost many brave journalists at the hands of militants and other assailants during the past decade. These include, Kamala Saikiya of Shiv Sagar, who was brutally killed by militants in 1991, Nurul Haq, Executive Editor Swatantra Awaz (Nagaon based daily) in 1998, Manik Deori of Karbi Anglong district in 1996, Deepak Swargiary of Goryswar in 1997, Ratebswar Dena Sarma, a septuagenarian journalist of Barpeta district in 1999, Deenashwar Bhramha, a local correspondent of Dhubri in March 2003, Alforid Sazad and Jiten Chutia (Shivsagar district) in 1999. Ankur Barbara of Gorhet remains untraced since 1998 from Kolkata. Another journalist from Kokrajhar district, Girija Das who was secretary of Gosaigaon Press Club has also been missing since August 2002. Many working journalists like Pavitra Das (Guwahati), Bhaskar Jyoti Das (reporter of Aji), Pervejur Rehman (A Dhubri based local correspondent) had to face physical and mental torture by the local police.</p>
<p>In Manipur, many scribes including three editors of local newspapers were killed by militants. In Meghalaya also, journalists and newspapers have faced attacks by militant outfits and government forces. In Tripura, Asit Ghosh, correspondent of a local newspaper was assaulted by miscreants, after the last assembly elections. The IJU Plenary Session demands that the state governments ensure safety and security of journalists in the North Eastern region of the Country.</p>
<p>IX – On Dainik Basumati</p>
<p>The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) Chennai Plenary Session noted with concern the suspension of publication of both the Kolkata and Siliguri editions of the Dainik Basumati, the oldest Bengali daily which is at present run by the West Bengal Government. IJU demands that the State Government immediately resume the publication from both the centres, Kolkata and Siliguri.</p>
<p>X – On Amrit Bazar Patrika and Jugantar</p>
<p>The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) Chennai Plenary Session demands that a tripartite meeting be held immediately to break the deadlock on Amrit Bazar Patrika – Jugantar impasse. The legal dues of the employees of the illegally closed these newspapers be released and paid without any further loss of time and both the newspapers should resume publication soon.</p>
<p>In another resolution, IJU demands that Government must support small newspapers.

National Executive Committee meeting</p>
<p>Tirupati,Andhra Pradesh August 29, 2002</p>
<p>Resolution</p>
<p>I – On allowing FDI in print media This meeting of the National Executive Committee of the IJU, held at Tirupati on August 29, 2002, lodges its strong protest against the Union Cabinet’s decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in the print media. This will not only compromise India’s national sovereignty but also affect seriously the development of democracy in the country, which has already been under strong pressure from Western interests, particularly MNCs. That the time-tested policy of keeping the print media wholly Indian, adopted first by the Union Cabinet under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1955 and endorsed later by the Rajiv Gandhi and Narasimha Rao regimes, should be overturned by a coalition government led by the minority BJP smacks of authoritarianism and an unseemly hurry to kowtow before foreign, particularly US, interests.</p>
<p>What is particularly shocking is that the present Government has been dismissive not only of longstanding policies but also of all democratic and professional institutions and has failed to appreciate, nay even consider, that even such eminent institutions as all Press Commissions as well as the Press Council have repeatedly frowned upon attempts to allow foreign control of the print media and stood for a wholly Indian Press.</p>
<p>The argument that the 26 per cent limit on foreign equity and the condition that editorial control must remain in Indian hands will be enough to safeguard and serve the national interests is unconvincing, prima facie. For, who does not know that the corporate culture as obtaining in this country allows the promoters to control their companies even with seven to 10 per cent equity holding. A foreign investor holding 26 per cent equity, therefore, will be in an unassailable position to not only fully control the media company concerned but also appoint pliant Indian editors who will faithfully communicate their master’s voice and serve their interests.</p>
<p>Similarly, the argument that the move will strengthen Indian democracy is ill-conceived because even such developed democracies as the US do not al all allow foreign ownership or control of their print media. The IJU wonders how a poor developing democracy like India that is facing all the problems of a nation-in-making can afford a luxury that even developed countries would rather do without.</p>
<p>This meeting, therefore, calls upon the Government to take cognisance of the widespread opposition to the move from all sections of democratic opinion in the country, particularly the Press and media organisations, and review its decision to allow FDI in an industry that plays a vital and crucial role in opinion-making. For, what the nation requires is the furthering strengthening of the national content and character in the print media instead of measures to weaken it.</p>
<p>This meeting also calls upon all sections of democratic opinion in the country to join hands and put up a joint struggle for force a withdrawal of the Cabinet decision. The IJU, on its part, will leave no stone unturned to build up such a joint struggle and play an active role in fighting out this dangerous move.</p>
<p>II � On harassment and intimidation of mediapersons</p>
<p>Having considered complaints and reports of the harassment and intimidation of mediapersons in not only the various States but also at the national Capital, this meeting of the National Executive Committee of the IJU, held at Tirupati on August 29, 2002, takes a serious view of the increasing tendency among the ruling establishment to harass and intimidate mediapersons who dare to lay bare the misdeeds and corrupt practices of the powers that be.</p>
<p>The way tehelka.com and the journalists working with it have been at the receiving end of all kinds of repressive actions for no less than a year now shows clearly the kinds of hazards mediapersons face in making bold to expose the corruption rampant in the country’s high society and ruling class.</p>
<p>The way the Government has ignored repeated protests by media organisations, including the IJU, against this harassment campaign only shows how insensitive this class has become. That it does not hesitate to use even TADA against accredited correspondents at the drop of a hat is even more serious. This meeting, therefore, calls upon the Union and State Governments to cry a halt to such harassment and intimidation of mediapersons. It also calls upon all media organisations to unitedly fight, in cooperation with other democratic forces, against this Emergency-like threat to the freedom of the Press and mediapersons. The IJU is determined to carry on the struggle against such tendencies and do everything it can to defend the freedom of the Press against such onslaughts.</p>
<p>III � On government’s bid to control/ subvert media institutions</p>
<p>This meeting of the IJU’s National Executive Committee, held at Tirupati on August 29, takes a serious view of the present Union Government’s attempts to interfere with, control and, thus, subvert almost all autonomous democratic and professional institutions. In this context, it strongly condemns this Government’s latest attack on the autonomy and independence of the vital media institution of the Central Press Accreditation Committee (CPAC) by packing it with as many as seven �government nominees�, all of whom have no representative character whatsoever and share the common qualification of proximity to the Sangh parivar. That the Government did this in utter violation of the rules framed by itself a couple of years ago makes it even worse; for, these rules have no provision for the inclusion of any unrepresentative elements in the CPAC. That it has failed to review its decision and reconstitute the CPAC as per rules in spite of strong demands from as many as five media organisations, including the IJU, shows that there is more to it than meets the eye and that this act is part of a larger design to pack all media institutions with the Government’s pliant �yes persons�. It is unfortunate that the Government did not draw the right lessons from the failure of its earlier efforts to subvert the functioning of the Press Council of India that was strongly and successfully resisted by the IJU. The profession should be ready to face more such efforts in the near future.</p>
<p>The IJU is determined to fight all such efforts to interfere with the freedom of the Press by subverting such vital professional institutions as the CPAC and the Press Council of India and calls upon all professional organisations to adopt a common strategy in defence of Press freedom. This meeting authorises the IJU central leadership to make all efforts to bring together various media organisations in order to evolve such a common strategy.<br />

National Executive Committee Meeting</p>
<p>Trivandrum, Kerala (India)</p>
<p>February 9-10, 2002</p>
<p>Resolution</p>
<p>The working class of the country is facing a critical situation today. Many of our rights and privileges, which were won after hard-fought struggle before and immediately after independence, have either been lost or are in the process of being lost. The Govt. is selling out even the strategic industries and profit making PSU (Public Sector Undertakings) Navratvas to the private sector, which are to be passed on to multinational companies in the name of globalization. The Trade Union movement in the country has never faced such a challenging situation before. It has not so far shown either the strength or the ideological clarity and commitment to halt the erosion of economic sovereignty. As a result the employees and the Govt. are feeling confident enough to introduce and press ahead with the so-called Labour Reforms which only mean unrestricted license to the employers to hire and fire the workmen and deprive them of negotiated and quasi-judicially determined wage structure. Trade Unions are being gradually weakened with a view to ultimately depriving them of their right and capacity to bargain collectively. This meeting of National Executive Committee of IJU, held in Trivandrum on February 9-10, 2002, takes a serious view of the situation and records its determination to fight and beat the Government and employers to brow-beat the working class into surrendering their rights and privileges. While calling upon all the Central Trade Unions, to catch the bull of Globalization by horn and get together for unity in action against the increasing strident attacks on the working class and the concept of welfare state, this meeting urges and authorizes the IJU leadership to take prompt necessary action to build unity among all newspaper employees unions as well as Central Trade Unions to face and fight the fresh challenges we face today.</p>
<p>Resolution</p>
<p>The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) views with sense of satisfaction the success of the democratic forces in compelling the Union Government to withdraw the original version of the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance (POTO) and replace it by a new amended version. Although the new Ordinance is an improvement over the earlier version, the IJU is convinced after subjecting it to a detailed study that it still retains some of the obnoxious and draconian provisions that continue to pose a threat to the freedom of the Press and the rights of journalists to disseminate undiluted information to the people . While appreciating the need to forge unity for fighting the terrorist threat to the nation, this meeting of the national Executive Committee (NEC) is of the considered opinion that there are enough laws to fight terrorism, which in the ultimate analysis can be fought and defeated not merely by draconian laws but by the exercise of eternal vigilance by the people. It will not be in national interest, therefore, to stifle the voice of criticism or shut down the sources of information. The IJU, therefore, calls upon the Government to withdraw even this second version of the draconian POTO. It also authorizes the IJU’s central leadership to make a common cause with other democratic forces to jointly fight for the abrogation of the Ordinance.

National Executive Committee meeting</p>
<p>Kurukshetra, Haryana (India)</p>
<p>October 6-7, 2001</p>
<p>Resolution</p>
<p>This meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU)takes a serious view of the anti-worker policies the Union Government is planning to thrust on the people of the country in the name of introducing the so-called second-generation economic reforms and containing its fiscal deficit. The Government’s real intention behind these moves, in fact, is to take advantage of the economic crisis created by its policies to give the employers a blank cheque to hire and fire the workers and exploit the large-scale employments in the country to pay them the least possible wages and enforce whatever terms and conditions of service they wish to do. Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s announcement to initiate the process of “labour reforms” is a challenge to the country’s trade unions they can ignore only at their peril. For the amendments the Government proposes to make in the labour laws, including the Industrial Disputes Act, will rob the working class of all the gains they have won at great cost and after making great sacrifices during the past half century and more. The “reforms” are intended to set at naught the workers’ right to job security and the unions’ right to collective bargaining of working and service conditions. They are also intended to do away with the practice of judicious fixation and revision of wage structures in various industries through wage boards and replace the present wage structures by the obnoxious contract system our union has been seeking the abolition of. These changes are sought to be made in the name of introducing a global practices to provide the employers ideal conditions to “improve the productivity” of both labour and capital. One wishes the Government had introduced the same levels of social security as well. What the Government does not seem to realise is that the unemployed in the US and the UK, whose labour laws the Government wants to emulate, get a higher feel of “doles” than the workers in this country get as minimum wages after working for eight hours a day. It is absurd to talk of global levels in service terms of the labour without accepting the same levels of social security. There is talk also of downsizing government, even while maintaining an army of ministers, by reducing the strength of government staff by as many as five lakh employees. The Government, of course, proposes to do so through a VRS, but this would reduce the level of employment in the country, whose unemployment is already very high. This meeting of the national Executive Committee of the IJU expresses its full determination to fight all these attacks resolutely. It also calls upon all affiliated unions of IJU, to make a struggle against these attacks associating with other central trade unions as a common cause and draw up a bold programme of action to resist and fight these. The IJU assures all central trade unions of its unstinted support and cooperation in facing these attacks and resisting all such attempts to rob the working class of it hard-won gains. It also calls upon all State unions and working journalists to do their best to build public opinion against these government plans and to prepare for the hard struggle ahead.</p>
<p>Resolution</p>
<p>This meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) takes a serious view of the growing tendency among various sections of the society, including law-enforcing agencies in particular, to make violent attacks o working journalists with a view to interfering with their duties. The recent incidents of such violence in Tamil Nadu and some other States is a case in point. The journalists in troubled and terrorist-infested areas of jammu and Kashmir, the Northeast, etc. have already been suffering heavily at the hands of the anti-socials but now the police forces in even ‘normal’ States have begun to behave in a lawless manner. The IJU calls upon the various Governments, both at the Centre and in the States as also the various political parties to take a serious view of the matter and initiate urgent steps to ensure an end to such tendencies among the security forces. They are also called upon to introduce adequate relief and compensation provisions for the journalists who fall victim to attacks by terrorists and anti-socials in the various States.</p>
<p>Resolution</p>
<p>This meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Indian Journalists Union views wit h deep concern the non-implementation of the awards of the Manisana Wage Boards by a large number of newspaper establishments in the country. It regrets to note that although these awards are statutory and were notified as far back as December last year, neither the Union nor the State Governments have cared to take any effective action to prevail upon newspaper managements to implement these. Repeated appeals by the IJU for firm action in the matter have fallen on deaf ears. In view of the bitter experience of the journalists committee about the fate of earlier wage awards, the IJU has been pressing from day one for the formation of ttripartite committees with adequate powers to oversee and monitor the implementation of the awards, but to no avail. Neither the Union nor any State Government paid any heed to our repeated appeals to set up these countries committees. This meeting of the NEC of the IJU, therefore, once again calls upon the Union Labour Minister to take personal initiative in the matter and initiate effective steps to get the wage awards implemented. It also calls upon the Union and State governments to set up effective tripartite committees to oversee and monitor this implementation. The apathetic attitude of the Governments to the implementation of these awards has left no alternative with newspaper employees, including journalists, except to prepare to prepare for agitative action to secure their implementation. The entire responsibility for any disruption such agitation may cause to industrial peace and harmony will rest entirely with newspaper managements and State Governments.