The Centre has initiated steps to bring the electronic and digital media journalists too under the ambit of the Working Journalists Act, Union Labour and Employment Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said here today. If necessary, the BJP-led NDA government would amend the Working Journalists Act to bring the electronic and digital media under its purview, he said. “We are taking the initiative to see that under the Working Journalists Act, all the electronic channels, including the digital media… they are also brought. If any Act is necessary, we will amend it further,” he said.
Dattatreya was in Kochi to attend the leadership conclave of the BJP Ernakulam Lok Sabha constituency. The minister stated this at a press conference in reply to reporters’ questions on steps taken by the Narendra Modi government to bring the electronic media journalists too under the purview of the Act.
Dattatreya said the government has taken steps at the Labour Ministry level to ensure stringent enforcement of the labour laws and implementation of Wageboard recommendations in the newspaper industry. “I have written letters to all the chief ministers twice to see that whoever is not paid proper compensation, or proper wage, it should be taken care of,” he said.
The minister said he would call a meeting of the state governments, media establishments, journalists’ associations and also his ministry officials to discuss the labour related issues in news organisations. He said the Modi government is committed to provide social security for those working in the unorganised sector. “The construction workers… four crore construction workers are there. We have converted all the workers from the informal group to the formal sector.”
“Now all the construction workers are given the benefit of ESIC and EPF. In the second phase, we are going to extend this social security service to the Anganwadi workers, the Asha workers and the mid-day meal workers,” the Minister said. “Such services will be extended to the autorickshaw workers and the domestic workers in the third phase,” he said.