Tuesday, August 6, 2013

SC to hear Majithia wage board matter today

 The Supreme Court on Tuesday is slated to hear the challenge to the recommendations of the latest Wage Board, which revised substantially upwards the wages of both journalists and non-journalists, as also the constitutional validity of the Working Journalists & Other Newspaper Employees (conditions of service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955, under which Wage Boards are constituted by the government.
 Newspaper associations, companies and news agencies are challenging the validity of the Act and the Wage Boards constituted under it, on the ground that the newspaper industry is the solitary case today in the private sector in India where the government — and not the employers — decides how much salary wage board employees should be paid. According to them, this is an antiquated legislation, and has lost all social relevance in the modern age of high technology and advent of electronic media. The newspaper establishments have been pointing out that no other media including TV, are shackled by a similar law. The industry contends that wage fixation should now be left, as in other industries, to market forces of demand and supply. 

They are also unhappy with the constitution, functioning, procedure and recommendations of the Majithia Wage Board. Newspaper establishments have been saying that these recommendations, if fully implemented, would result in an 80-100 % wage hike, which would force many newspapers, particularly small and medium, to shut shop, thereby dealing a blow to the freedom of the Press. They are arguing that in the newspaper industry, non-journalist employees are already paid much higher than their counterparts in other industries, and this unnatural gap would broaden if the Wage Board recommendations are implemented. 

Source : Times of India

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