Hindustan Times Tactics to Undermine Journalists in India Appalling, says IFJ

The International Federation of Journalists is appalled by the latest actions of the Hindustan Times management in its long running campaign to undermine the rights and morale of its employees.

On September 25, editors of the two dailies run by the Hindustan Times group called several staff journalists and asked them to voluntarily tender their resignations. The journalists were told that if they submitted their resignations, management would consider re-hiring them on a short-term contract, however they refused to make any guarantees.

Hindustan Times management has shown utter contempt for its employees since illegally sacking more than 300 employees in October last year.

Last week, following the tragic suicide of one of the sacked employees, a mass protest was staged outside the newspaper offices. After the rally, the newspaper management vowed to enter into negotiations with the union.

“Having announced last week that they would consult with the union, Hindustan Times management has gone back on its promise,” said IFJ President Christopher Warren.

“It is now imperative that the government intervenes on the employees’ behalf and demands the reinstatement of the sacked workers as well as an end to all further unjust and illegal attacks on the staff of the Hindustan Times,” said the IFJ President.

Hindustan Times management is destroying the spirit and vitality of its journalists and employees with a campaign of contempt and utter disregard for their rights,” said Warren.

Show-cause notices were also issued to several office bearers of the plant union for their involvement in last week’s protest. On October 2 2004, Hindustan Times management illegally sacked 362 printing workers, depriving them of their professions and income.

“The plight of these sacked workers has reached crisis point, they have fought for almost a year for their reinstatement and many are facing starvation,” said IFJ President Christopher Warren.

“The IFJ is gravely concerned that without swift intervention, further deaths may occur,” said the IFJ President.

The Confederation of Newspaper and News Agency Employees Organisations has announced that they will mark the first anniversary of the mass sacking with a protest rally outside the offices of the newspaper on October 2 2005.

For further information contact Christopher Warren on +61 411 757 668

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 100 countries