Hyderabad/New Delhi The Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU) on Friday welcomed the amendments made to the Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service and other Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, popularly known as Working Journalists’ Act (WJA), making the punishment more stringent to the newspaper managements for violating the provisions of the Act by the Kejriwal government in Delhi.
The amendments were notified by the Government of Delhi on Thursday after receiving assent from the President. The amended Act applies to media establishments in Delhi. The bill amending the Act was passed by the Delhi Assembly in December 2015.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) president S N Sinha, secretary-general Amar Devulapalli said enhanced punishment for not implementing the Wage Board scales and other provisions of the Act would certainly work as a deterrent if not implemented strictly. “The IJU welcomes the provision for recognising the journalists employed on contract basis as working journalists, which would give them some security of employment and statutory wages as the Act would also apply to them on par with other working journalists. We feel the amendments if implemented strictly would prevent the managements from evading the wage board scales to the journalists working on contract”, the statement said.
The IJU leaders demanded the Union government to bring a bill in the ensuing monsoon session of the Parliament to amend Working Journalists Act, enhancing the punishment for non-implementation of the wage board recommendations and violating other provisions of the Act. They called on the State unions affiliated to the IJU to launch a vigorous campaign within their own States demanding that the State governments bring in State specific amendments to the Act for effective implementation of the wage board scales and other provisions of the Act and also recognize the journalists working on contract basis as working journalists.