Journalists’ Salary Cut: Punjab & Haryana HC Directs Labour Commissioner to Decide Complaints.

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In this pandemic situation, the Tribune Trust Employees Union- an association of Journalists working in ‘The Tribune’ filled a writ petition in the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh as The Tribune Trust Employees Union, Chandigarh versus Union Territory, Chandigarh and others . The writ petition in the nature of Certiorari was filed to set aside the Impugned notice/order dated 25.04.2020 and 01.05.2020 stating reduction in the wages/ salaries of Journalists. The order was issued by the management for permanently reducing the wages/salaries of its employees due to the COVID-19 situation. This matter was placed before the Single-Bench of Justice Arun Monga who disposed of with the writ petition and gave further directions.
The petitioner filed the petition with respect to the violation of provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act and Working Journalist and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955. The writ focused on Section 13 of the Working Journalists Act which stated that they are entitled to wages at rates not less than those specified in the order. Industrial Disputes have a major chance to end up having a cold war within the walls of the country. This is one of the issues that precisely matter a lot in bringing up the economy not just in the pandemic era. For this to be taken care of and governed properly, the act that got passed was the Industrial Disputes Act.
This act made sure every dispute arisen was sorted out through the manners of arbitration, conciliation and mediation also. This made sure no labour related problem or any other dispute does not affect the overall industrial development of the company or its economic impact. The Working Journalist and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955 came into picture which made sure about the wages of each employee.
According to the order dated 28.05.2020, the Labour Commissioner, Department of Labour, Chandigarh, was directed by the Hon’ble Court to take into consideration the complaints/emails of the petitioner and pass appropriate order in accordance with the law keeping in view the affirmation contained in the writ petition. In different scenarios and cases referred, in what way these provisions play a vital role is concentrated is the concern of the court.

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