The Assam Tribune Employees Union (ATEU) has appealed all the media house owners to provide legal dues to the journalist and non-journalist media employees such that they can maintain decent lives. Addressing a press meet at Guwahati Press Club today (February 20, 2012), the union argues that the managements of the newspaper houses should immediately implement the recommendations of Majithia Wage Board.
Mentionable that the Assam Tribune group of newspapers has already implemented the recommendations of the latest statutory wage board from January 2012. The Majithia board is applicable since July, 2010 where increment of salary and other benefits for the employees are included.
Significantly the Assam Tribune group of the region has been identified as the first house in the country to go for implementing various recommendations for the benefit of its over 400 journalists and non-journalist media employees.
“If we can get the benefits from the latest wage board in our house, why our colleagues from other media groups should be deprived of such facilities,” questioned Dugdha Kalita, secretary of ATEU.
The Assam Tribune group, which was founded by a visionary of Assam RG Barua, publishes the pioneer English daily of North-East India The Assam Tribune, an acclaimed Assamese daily Dainik Asom, an Assamese weekly Asom Bani and a literary monthly magazine Garioshi. Amid all troubles in Assam, the media witnessed a rapid boom in Nineties. Today the State capital witnesses the publication of more than 20 morning dailies, half of those are in the Assamese language.
Most of the dailies are published from more than one center, whereas three Assamese daily newspapers claim to enjoy around 100000 circulation.
Though the print media boom is spectacular, there are always apprehension about the outcome. Journalists here have to work under tremendous pressure from the managements. The reporters have to cover all the important issues including political, economical, social, and cultural.
But unfortunately a reporter in Assam may have to work with a salary starting with Rs 3000 with absolutely no job security. One can found that more than 60% newspaper employees in Assam are still deprived of basic minimum facilities such as appointment letter, leave, provident fund, ESI etc.
Addressing the media, ATEU president Saifuddin Ahmed appealed to all other media groups of the region to implement the recommendations of the wage board, such that the journalists and other employees get their dues and function with a secured atmosphere. He also advocated for a combined platform for media employees to pursue their various demands.
The press meet was also addressed Siba Deka, vice-president of ATEU and Nava Thakuria, Secretary (Eastern Zone) of National Federation of Newspaper Employees.