Contract journalists in Kerala to get provident Fund

NEW DELHI: In a significant development that can have ripple effects in the media industry, contract journalists working for the New Indian Express in Kerala will become eligible to provident fund, unlike their counterparts in the rest of the country.

Regional PF Commissioner, Kochi, N.Gopalakrishnan has ordered that the journalists and non-journalist employees working on contract basis in Kochi unit of the New Indian Express are eligible for Provident Fund benefits.

In a 64-page verdict given after an enquiry undertaken as per the Provident Fund Act 1952, the PF Commissioner rejected the NIE management‘s claim that the journalist and non-journalist‘s of the NIE, Kochi are not employees and, hence, they are not entitled to EPF benefit.

The Commissioner found that they are very much employees of the NIE establishment and ordered the immediate assessment of EPF amount eligible for each and every employees working on contract at the NIE, Kochi.

This is a landmark victory for the New Indian Express Employees Association (Kerala), employees organisation of the New Indian Express in Kerala. The verdict would have far reaching consequences in the media industry in particular and trade union movement in general at a time when more and more people have been employed on contract basis by companies.

The New Indian Express Employees Association (Kerala), according to its President N Padmanabhan and GS Radhakrishnan, fought the case relentlessly for the last three years against heavy odds.

Meanwhile in Delhi, hundreds of mediaperons took part yesterday in a dharna at Jantar mantar in solidarity with Sakshi Journalists and press workers call for dharna.

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