Wage Board Hearings Extended to July in Supreme Court of India


Media Release: India                                                                                       

April 4, 2013                   


The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expresses

its concern that the Supreme Court of India has decided to defer the hearing on

the most recent wage award for journalists and other newspaper employees until



On April 2, the Supreme Court bench that began hearing

the matter in February expressed its inability to continue since the senior of

two judges on the bench is due to retire on April 18. The matter has now been

posted for hearing on July 9, before a new bench to the constituted by the

Chief Justice of India.


According to the Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ), a

constituent unit of the IFJ-affiliated Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU), counsel

representing the confederation of journalists’ unions at the Supreme Court

reportedly argued the case for a quick disposal of the matter, but was unable

to win the concurrence of the bench.


The G.R. Majithia Wage Boards for Journalists and

Non-Journalists submitted its recommendations on an all-round increase of

levels of pay for newspaper workers in December 2010. After due deliberation,

India’s Union Cabinet formally approved these recommendations in October 2011.


Newspaper enterprises, both individually and

collectively through the Indian Newspaper Society, had meanwhile filed a number

of petitions before the country’s highest court, claiming an infringement of their

fundamental rights in the statutory wage fixation process. After several

procedural difficulties, hearings in this batch of petitions were conducted for

two weeks in February this year.


The DUJ reports that the prospect of a further delay

in mandating a new deal for journalists and other newspaper employees,

coincides with a new phase of enforcing “coercive contracts” by newspaper

companies that have so far had a good record of honouring statutory wage



The IFJ joins partners and affiliates in India in this

moment of disappointment.


The IFJ urges the Indian government as one part of the

tripartite wage bargaining process to show a greater sense of urgency in having

the matter heard and disposed of in accordance with established judicial



For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0950



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