A delegation of journalists on Saturday met Labour Minister Bhupendra Yadav to flag concerns arising from the proposed implementation of the labour codes that had subsumed laws pertaining to working journalists.
The delegation comprising representatives from Press Association, Working News Cameraman’s Association and Indian Journalists Union, apprised the minister that with the repeal of the Working Journalists Act, working journalists will be treated as any other labour force in the country without considering the creative nature of the journalistic work.
The delegation requested the minister to ensure that the special provisions of the Working Journalist Act be protected to ensure the freedom and respect for the fourth pillar of democracy.
The media delegation pointed out that with the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 applying to working journalists, as they apply to workmen within the meaning of that Act, no longer applicable, the working journalists, in case of a dispute, cannot get any relief from a court of law.
They also pointed out that the new labour codes grant more flexibility to employers for hiring and firing workers and also allow companies to use arbitrary service conditions for employees, including working journalists.
The journalists’ organisations also requested the minister to consider payment of pension by the central government to senior journalists in the pattern of states governments.