Working Journalists (Fixation of Rates of Wages) Act, 1958

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THE WORKING JOURNALISTS (FIXATION OF RATES OF WAGES) ACT, 1958 This act may be called The Working Journalists (Fixation of Rates of Wages)Act, 1958. This is an act provided for the fixation of rates of wages in respect of working journalists and for matters connected therewith. The Act is passed on 16 September, 1958. This is an act to regulate certain conditions of service(fixation of rates of wages) of working journalists and other persons employed in newspaper establishment. • The first press commission found that emoluments received by journalists were on the whole unsatisfactory. It recognized the necessity for fixing a minimum wages to be paid to them. • The provision applicable to workmen under the Industrial Disputes act, 1947, shall apply to working journalists. • An ordinance entitled the Working Journalist (Fixation of rates of wages) ordinance was promulgated on 14th June, 1958. This ordinance was later replaced by the Act of the parliament. • The Act has been passed to regulate certain conditions of service of the working journalists and other persons employed in the newspaper establishment.[1]

[2]For the purpose of enabling the central government to fix rates of wages in respect to working journalists in the light of the Judgement  of the Supreme Court dated 19th day of March, 1958 relating to the wage board decision and under all relevant circumstances , the Central government shall by notification constitute a committee, according to Section-3;

A committee consists of- a. An officer of the Ministry of Law not below the rank of a Joint Secretary nominated by the Central Government who shall be the chairman of the committee. b. Three persons nominated from the ministry of home affairs, Labour and employment and c. A chartered Accountant A committee may call upon newspaper establishments, working journalists and other person interested in the wage board decision. Every representation should be in writing and within thirty days as may be specified in the notice. The representations must specify the grounds for modification to the Central Government and also specify the date from which the rates of wages should take effect.

Section 4 provides with the functions of committee: .- (1) The Committee shall, by notice published in such manner as it thinks fit, call upon newspaper establishments and working journalists and other persons interested in the Wage Board decision to make such representations as they may think fit as respects the Wage Board decision and the rates of wages which may be fixed under this Act in respect of working journalists.

(2) Every such representation shall be in writing and shall be made within such period not exceeding thirty days, as the Committee may specify in the notice, and shall state-

(a) the specific grounds of objection, if any, to the Wage Board decision,

(b) the rates of wages which, in the opinion of the person making the representation, would be reasonable, having regard to the capacity of the employer to pay the same or to any other circumstance, whichever seem relevant to the person making the representation in relation to his representation,

(c) the alterations or modifications, if any, which, in the opinion of the person making the representation, should be made in the Wage Board decision and the reasons therefor.

(3) The Committee shall take into account the representations aforesaid, if any, and after examining the materials placed before the Wage Board and such further materials as have since been obtained by or made available to it under this Act, make such recommendations, as it thinks fit, to the Central Government for the fixation of rates of wages in respect of working journalists, whether by way of modification or otherwise, of the Wage Board decision; and any such recommendation may specify, whether prospectively or retrospectively, the date from which the rates of wages should take effect.

(4) In making any recommendations to the Central Government, the Committee shall have regard to all the matters set out in sub-section (1) of section 9 of the Wording Journalists Act.

(5) The Committee may, if it thinks fit, take up for consideration separately groups or classes of newspaper establishments, whether on the basis of regional classification or on any other basis, and make recommendations from time to time in regard to each such group or class.

In Section 5,The working journalists who have been in continuous service for at least 3yrs in a newspaper establishments, are entitled are gratuity on his retirement or in case of his death. The employer of the establishments should pay an amount equivalent to 15 days average pay for every completed year of service or any part in excess of 6 months. In case of death the nominee of the working journalist is entitled to the gratuity. Any travelling concession, but does not include- (a) Any bonus; (b) Any contribution paid or payable by the employer to any pension fund or provident fund or for the benefit of the newspaper employee under any law for the time being in force (c) Any gratuity payable on the termination of his service.

No working journalist shall be required to work for more than 144 hours during any period of 4 consecutive weeks, exclusive for the time of meals. Every working journalist shall be allowed during any period of 7 consecutive days, rest for a period of not less than 24 hours inclusive of the period between 10pm and 6am , as per section 6 of the act. 

According to Section-7 Every working journalist shall be entitled to earn leave on full wages for not less than one-eleventh of the period spent on duty and leave on medical certificate on one- half of the wages for not less than one-eighteenth of the period of service. In addition, the working journalist is also entitled to casual leave.

Section 8 provides for the fixation or revision of rates of wages. The Central Government may: a. Fix rates of wages in respect of working journalist. b. Revise from time to time such intervals the rates of wages fixed under this section.

Section 9 of the act says; Procedure for fixing and revising rates of wages. - For the purpose of fixing or revising rates of wages in respect of working journalists under this Act, the Central Government shall, as and when necessary, constitute a Wage Board which shall consist of-

(a) Two persons representing employers in relation to newspaper establishments; 

(b) Two persons representing working journalists (c) Three independent persons, one of whom shall be a person who is or has been a Judge of High Court or the Supreme Court and who shall be appointed by that Government as the Chairman thereof.

Section 10.Authentication of orders, letters, etc., of the Committee

All notices, letters authorisations, order or other documents to be issued or made by the Committee under this Act may be authenticated by the Chairman or the Secretary thereof or any other officer authorised by the Committee in this behalf and any notice, letter, authorisation, order or other document so authenticated shall be presumed to have been duly issued or made by the Committee.

Section 11.Effect of Act on Working Journalists Act, etc (1) Sections 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of the Working Journalists Act shall have no effect in relation to the Committee.

(2) The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith in the terms of any award, agreement or contract of service, whether made before or after the commencement of this Act:

Provided that were under any such award, agreement, contract of service or otherwise, a working journalist is entitled to benefits in respect of any matter which are more favourable to him than those to which he would be entitled under this Act, the working journalist shall continue to be entitled to the more favourable benefits in respect of that matter, notwithstanding that he receives benefits in respect of other matters under this Act.

(3) Nothing contained in this Act shall be construed to preclude any working journalist from entering into any agreement with an employer for granting him rights or privileges in respect of any matter which are more favourable to him than those to which he would be entitled under this Act.

Section 12.Vacancies, etc., not to invalidate proceedings of Committee

.- No act or proceeding of the Committee shall be invalid merely by reason of the existence of any vacancy among its members or any defect in the constitution thereof.

Section 13.Power to make rules .- (1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules to carry out the purposes of this Act.

(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for-

(a) the manner in which notices under this Act may be published;

(b) the procedure to be followed by the Committee in the exercise of its powers under this Act;

(c) the powers and functions of the Committee which may be delegated to any of its members;

(d) the fees to be paid for inspection of documents furnished to the Committee.

Section 14.Repeal and saving

.- (1) The Working Journalists(Fixation of Rates of Wages) Ordinance , 1958 (3 of 1958), is hereby repealed.

(2) Notwithstanding such repeal, anything done or any action taken under the said Ordinance shall be deemed to have been done or taken under this Act as if this Act had commenced on the 14th day of June, 1958.[3]

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