There is a thing about other people's letters, but before I post the latest letter/post/rant of 2009 with which I have no connection, it seems that the print media industry has caught one break. It seems the trip to Anand Sharma worked in more ways than one as DAVP rates also climbed 15 percent. Just before elections too, which will see a flurry of Bharat Nirman adverts. But, this below is classic, you know and I know that not much will happen and this isn't half as entertaining as people having an anger fit at the Press Club in the heart of the capital, but what the hell...
It will be a sight to see journalists unionise again, but given the rampant socialism on display nowadays, it won't be surprising. I'm wondering, maybe that is why Communism is the most effective civic in Civilzation IV. Anyway, I wonder who drafted the mail and in an aside I have to admit that journalism on the whole has benefted from the scrapping of the wage board which has a major element in the rise of salaries over the past five years. Yes, it reduces job security, but it allows good journalists to be paid decent sums of money.
Anyway, this letter is being sent to a guy who is a closet Commie at heart and loves employee power. Especially those ones who are murderous goons.
By the way, remember this shindig from a year ago.
EDIT: While a letter was sent, a friend told me that Amin, who is a firebrand trade-unionist always ready to jump on an anti-industrialist bandwagon claims that no such letter was written. Taking back the claim or are some of those who were let go stoking the fire?
Letter to Labour Minister
Dear Shri Fernandes,
I am writing to you on a serious matter which requires your immediate attention and urgent action.
Newspapers all over India have launched a massive dismissal of journalists and other employees, giving the excuse of the recession hitting theirr evenue. Topping all these newspapers is the Hindustan Times Group that has removed more than 100 journalists and other employees in just one fortnight in January. The Hindustan Times Group has a long historyof the anti-labour practices that peaked about six years ago when over 350 non-journalists and some 50 journalists were thrown out of job overnight. The matter was raised in Parliament and is now pending in the Court.
From the same time, the management is forcing all journalists and non-journalists in regular employment on wage board pay-scales to resign and accept contract employment. Those who opposed were sacked, creating an atmosphere of terror and uncertainty that frightened many to surrender to the whims and fancies of the management.
The Hindustan Times Group is indulging in the same type of malpractices forwhich Satyam is in the news these days. It has been forming companies after companies and shifting employees from one company to another without obtaining their consent or completing the legal formalities, so as to indulge in fudging of accounts and escape the statutory obligations. The malpractice of shifting the regular employees as contract labour that is now not limited to only Hindustan Times and Times of India groups but it has also spread across the newspaper industry as a tool to scuttle the statutory Wage Board awards.
The latest instance of removal of senior journalists from Hindustan and Hindustan Times was the most shocking violation of the trade union and human rights. Most of these journalists were physically thrown out of their offices and that too in less than a month or two of renewal of their contracts for three years. The management has been putting two letters on table - sign the resignation letter and take three months' salary or get dismissed with just two months' basic salary. Most of the victims had no option to sign the resignation to get a little more money as they were not even allowed to think before taking the decision.
One employee in Lucknow suffered heart attack while senior lady journalistS hailbala, who had been serving Hindustan for more than three decades, was manhandled, molested and physically pushed out of office by a senior resident editor, after forcing her to sign on the resignation letter. She has lodged a complaint with Police, but no action has been initiated so far. Among those humiliated, sacked and not even allowed to collect his belongings from the office is Vinod Varshney, the Bureau Chief with 37 years of standing in Hindustan. Those thrown out along with him include Shripal Jain, senior assistant editor, Subodh Mishra, senior news editor, Ira Jha, news editor as also special correspondents and reporters Anil Verma,Rajiv Ranjan Nag, Vivek Shukla, Sandeep Thakur, and Virendra Mehta. Similar incident of sacking of the senior journalists and other reporters is going on in various centers of Hindustan like Lucknow, Patna, Dehradun, Ranchi, Banaras, Muzaffarpur, Meerut, Kanpur and Agra. Those victimized in this manner include 15 from Patna, five each from Lucknow and Kanpur, six from Dehradun, three in Banaras, two each in Ranchi, Muzaffarpur and Agra.Similar malpractices are being followed in the group's two other newspapers - Hindustan Times and Mint. The latest to be thrown out are Rathin Das, special correspondent in Ahmedabad who was asked to fly to Delhi for an official meeting and forced to resign as soon as he arrived, while a very senior journalist of Mint, was similarly rendered jobless.
I therefore request you to kindly look into the matter and take necessary action at the earliest.
Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha)
NOTE: As written above, Amin claims he had nothing to do with this letter.