Journalists laid off : The Covid-19 Lockdown
National Alliance Of Journalists & Ors. vs Union Of India & Ors is a Public Interest Litigation moved by Journalist Unions against the inhuman and illegal treatment meted out by Media organisations against their employees and workers. Employers in the Media sector have been issuing termination notices, imposing steep wage cuts unilaterally, sending workers and employees on indefinite unpaid leave using the national lockdown imposed in light of the spread of Coronavirus as an excuse.
These steps have been taken in-spite of advisories and orders issued by the Government of India and even appeals by the Prime Minister of India to not terminate the services or reduce the wages of their employees. The arbitrary actions on part of the private media houses places journalists in a precarious situation, especially in light of the ongoing lockdown which has placed them under physical, financial and personal distress. The termination of services, reduction in wages and forced unpaid leave will be detrimental to the media’s ability to perform its functions in the democratic set up. Hon’ble Supreme Court in its order date 27.4.2020 expressed concerns over the issues termination of employees amid the lockdown.
The Bench comprising of Justice N.V. Ramana, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, B.R. Gavai issued notice against all media organisation who laid off employees or forced them to take remuneration in the wake of the lockdown.