On Sunday, India’s premier news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) terminated 297 non-editorial staff. It has come as a shock across India and the Unions have decided to stage protests from October 1 and approach the courts. PTI has published the list of 297 employees most of them belonging to the post of Transmission Supervisors, Engineers, Assistants and Attenders, which according to PTI’s Board have become redundant now.
“Your services with PTI Ltd are being retrenched with immediate effect as there is no work for your post,” said the short letter to the retrenched 297 staffers. The decision was approved by Saturday’s Board, which also selected The Hindu newspaper published N Ravi as the PTI Chairman and Punjab Kesari newspaper’s Chief Editor Vijay Kumar Chopra as Vice Chairman. PTI is owned by a consortium of media barons.
Federation of PTI Employees Union declared protests at PTI offices against the illegal retrenchment from October 1. But how long these protests will survive and ultimately lead to protracted legal cases, where management with deep pockets will contest it up to the last legal forum.
According to a Board Member of PTI, who is also a media baron, while speaking to PGurus said this “hard” decision was long pending. “How long PTI can maintain more than 500 people holding redundant posts with huge salaries? After computerisation, many jobs are redundant from mid-90s and PTI was paying hefty salaries as per Wage Board prescribed levels,” he said assuring that the Board will provide “decent” and “justifiable” compensation package.
PGurus recently published an article on PTI’s sacked union leader MS Yadav, who was caught for selling union’s land to his son in dubious ways. Interestingly, Yadav, who is close to the PTI management, is not in the retrenched list, though he is continuing in service on annual extensions. PTI’s retirement age is 60 and staffers say Yadav had crossed 65 years of age. Yadav joined as Plumber is now holding the post of a Senior Regional Engineer with a monthly salary of Rs.1.5 lakhs!
For the past two years Indian media is facing massive retrenchment of journalists. More than 2000 journalists have lost their jobs in big media houses like Hindustan Times, NDTV and Telegraph.
 Telegraph and Ananda Bazar Patrika terminate more than 750 Journalists to cut costs – Feb 3, 2017, PGurus.com
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