TRADE UNIONISM IN JOURNALISM

THE KERALA EXPERIENCE

A thesis submitted to the Mangalore University for the award

of the degree of

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

IN

MASS COMMUNICATION AND JOURNALISM

By

Sathyaseelan C

Senior Editor, Mangalam Publications (I) Pvt Ltd

Kottayam 686006

Research Guide:

Dr. Suchethana Swaroop

Director, Sri Siddhartha Centre for Media Studies

SSIT Campus, Maralur, Tumkur – 572 105

DEPARTMENT OF MASS COMMUNICATION AND JOURNALISM

MANGALORE UNIVERSITY

MANGALAGANGOTHRI – 574 199

January 2011

 

Dr. Suchethana Swaroop

Director

Sri Siddhartha Centre for Media Studies

SSIT Campus, Maralur, Tumkur – 572 105

Certificate

 

This is to certify that this thesis, entitled ‘Trade Unionism in Journalism: The Kerala Experience’ is a record of original research work done by Mr. Sathyaseelan C, in the Department of Studies in Mass Communication and Journalism, Mangalore University, Mangalagangothri, as a full time research scholar during the period of study, 2005-2010 under my guidance and supervision for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Mass Communication and Journalism.  This thesis or any part of there of has not been previously submitted for any degree or diploma or other similar titles at this or any other university.

 

 

Place: Tumkur

Date:  14-01-2011                                                   Dr. Suchethna Swaroop

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sathyaseelan C.

Research Scholar,

Department of Mass Communication and Journalism,

Mangalagangothri – 574 199

 

 

 

DECLARATION

 

I, Sathyaseelan C, do hereby declare that this thesis entitled ‘Trade Unionism in Journalism: The Kerala Experience’ submitted to the Mangalore University, for the award of the ‘Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Mass Communication and Journalism’ is a record of original and independent research work done by me during 2005- 2010 under the supervision and guidance of Dr. Suchethana Swaroop, Director, Sri Siddhartha Centre for Media Studies, Maralur, Tumkur 572105.  This thesis in whole or part has not been previously submitted for any degree, diploma or other similar degree of this or any other university.

 

 

Place: Mangalore

Date:  14-10-2011                                                               Sathyaseelan C.

 

 

It is my good fortune to have Dr. Suchethana Swaroop, Director,                            Sri Siddhartha Centre for Media Studies, SSIT Campus, Maralur, Tumkur – 572105 as my Research Guide.  From the time of the choice of the subject to the completion of the work, for his expert and valuable guidance, I owe my gratitude to him.  He has been a constant source of inspiration and of endless help at every stage.

I record here my appreciation and gratitude to Dr. G. P. Shivram, Chairman, Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Mangalore University, Mangalagangothri 574199 for his valuable suggestions and timely help.

The faculty members of the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism gave friendly advice and needed encouragement.  I thank them profusely.

Thanks to Dr. John E. Abraham, Research Guide, M. G. University, Kottayam, Dr. Mallaiaha, Deputy Librarian and his staff, Mangalore University. 

I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to Mr. Sabu Varghese, Chief Editor, Mangalam Group of Publications, Kottayam, Kerala.

I am indebted to my wife Mrs. Usha Sathyan, Sons Adv. Anoop Sathyan, Mr. Arun Sathyan (Managing Director, Yem solutions, Nagampadom, Kottayam), and my daughter-in-law Mrs. Gopika G. Nair.

Sathyaseelan C.

 

10

Chapter-1 INTRODUCTION————————————————————————– 1-11

Chapter-2 TRADE UNION MOVEMENTS IN KERALA: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES            12-41

Chapter-3 JOURNALISTS’ ASSOCIATIONS: HISTORY AND ACHIEVEMENTS—- 42-72

Chapter-4  RESEARCH METHODOLOGY—————————————————— 73-80

Chapter-5 DATA PRESENTATION AND INTERPRETATION—————————– 81-183

Chapter-6 SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS——————– 184-200   BIBLIOGRAPHY                201-207

                         JOURNALS——————————————————————————— 208-209

                         ANNEXURE——————————————————————————— 210-212

           

Table-1        Age-wise Composition of Respondents…………………………………. 75

Table-2        Sex wise Composition of Respondents…………………………………. 76

Table-3        Education-wise Classification of Respondents……………………….. 76

Table-4        Income-wise Classification………………………………………………… 77

Table-5        Classification of Journalists……………………………………………….. 79

Table-6        Acceptance of Wage Board Recommendations………………………. 81

Table-7        Implementation of Wage Board Recommendations………………….. 81

Table-8        Reasons for Non-Implementation………………………………………… 82

Table-9        Opinion on Contract System of Employment………………………….. 83

Table-10       ILL-Effects of the Contract System……………………………………… 83

Table-11       Merits of the Contract System……………………………………………. 84

Table-12       Membership of Unions………………………………………………………. 86

Table-13       Protective Power of Unions:………………………………………………. 86

Table-14       Acceptance of Trade Union Tactics:…………………………………….. 87

Table-15       Reasonableness of Media Owners:……………………………………… 87

Table-16       Acceptance of Collective Bargaining:……………………………………. 88

Table-17       Ethicality of Unionisation:………………………………………………….. 88

Table-18       Protest against Employers…………………………………………………. 89

Table-19       Justifiability of Demand for Higher Wages……………………………… 89

Table- 20      Co-Operation with Management………………………………………….. 90

Table- 21      Response as To Fudging Accounts  ……………………………………. 90

Table- 22      Medium that Pays Better Wages to Its Employees …………………. 91

Table- 23      Better Paymaster – Private Vs Govt. Organisations…………………. 91

Table- 24      Advantage of Foreign Direct Investment in the Media Sector……… 92

Table-25       Activeness of the State Union of Journalists…………………………. 93

Table-26       Reasons for Inactivity of the Union………………………………………. 93

Table-27       Acceptance of Wage Board Recommendations………………………. 94

Table-28       Level of Implementation of Wage Board Recommendations:………. 95

Table-29       Reasons for Non-Implementation………………………………………… 96

Table- 30      Acceptance of Contract System …………………………………………. 97

Table- 31      ILL – Effects of Contract System………………………………………… 98

Table- 32      Merits of Contract System…………………………………………………. 99

Table-33       Membership of Union……………………………………………………….. 101

Table-34       Unions Protecting Interests of Working Journalists………………….. 103

Table-35       Acceptance of Trade Union Tactics……………………………………… 103

Table-36       Reasonableness of media owners:………………………………………. 104

Table-37       Acceptance of Collective Bargaining:……………………………………. 105

Table-38       Ethicality of Unionisation…………………………………………………… 106

Table-39       Protest against Employers…………………………………………………. 107

Table-40       Justifiability of Demand for Higher Wages……………………………… 107

Table-41       Co-operation with Management…………………………………………… 108

Table-42       Fudging of Account by Management…………………………………….. 109

Table-43       The Media that Pay Better Wages:………………………………………. 110

Table-44       Better Paymaster: Private vs. Government Organisations…………. 110

Table-45       Advantage of FDI in Media Sector……………………………………….. 111

Table-46       Activeness of the State Union of Journalists………………………….. 112

Table-47       Reasons for Union Inactivity …………………………………………….. 113

Table-48       Acceptance of Wage Board Recommendation Sex-Wise Response… 114

Table-49       Implementation Level of Wage Board Recommendations…………… 114

Table-50       Reasons for Non-Implementation………………………………………… 115

Table-51       Opinion on Contract System of Employment………………………….. 115

Table-52       ILL-Effects of the Contract System …………………………………….. 116

Table-53       Membership of Unions………………………………………………………. 117

Table-54       Protective Power of Unions……………………………………………….. 117

Table-55       Acceptance of Trade Union Activities…………………………………… 118

Table-56       Reasonableness of Media Owners………………………………………. 119

Table-57       Acceptance of Collective Bargaining…………………………………….. 119

Table-58       Ethicality of Unionisation…………………………………………………… 120

Table-59       Protest against Employers…………………………………………………. 120

Table-60       Justifiability of Demand for Higher Wages……………………………… 121

Table-61       Co-Operation with Management………………………………………….. 121

Table-62       On Fudging of Accounts …………………………………………………… 122

Table-63       Media That Pay Better Wages ……………………………………………. 122

Table-64       The Sector That Paid Better (Sector)……………………………………. 123

Table-65       Advantage of Foreign Direct Investment in Media Sector…………… 123

Table-66       Activeness of the State Union of Journalists………………………….. 124

Table-67       Reasons for the Inactivity of the Union…………………………………. 124

Table-68       Acceptance of the Wage Board Recommendations………………….. 125

Table-69       Level of Implementation of Wage Board Recommendations ………. 126

Table-70       Reasons for Non-Implementation………………………………………… 128

Table-71       Acceptance of Contract System………………………………………….. 129

Table-72       ILL-Effects of Contract System…………………………………………… 130

Table-73       Benefits of Contract System………………………………………………. 132

Table-74       Union Membership…………………………………………………………… 134

Table-75       Power of Unions to Protect Interests of Working Journalists ……… 135

Table-76       Acceptance of Trade Union Tactics……………………………………… 136

Table-77       Reasonableness of Media Owners………………………………………. 137

Table-78       Acceptance of Collective Bargaining…………………………………….. 138

Table-79       Ethicality of Unionisation…………………………………………………… 139

Table-80       Protest against Employers…………………………………………………. 140

Table-81       Justifiability of Demand for Higher Wages……………………………… 141

Table-82       Co-Operation with Management………………………………………….. 142

Table-83       Fudging of Account by Management…………………………………….. 143

Table-84       The Media that May Pay Better Wages…………………………………. 144

Table-85       Better Paymaster: Private Vs. Government Organisations:………… 145

Table-86       Advantage of FDI in Media Sector……………………………………….. 146

Table-87       Activeness of the State Union of Journalists………………………….. 147

Table-88       Reasons for Inactivity………………………………………………………. 148

Table-89       Acceptance of Wage Board Recommendations………………………. 149

Table-90       Implementation of Wage Board Recommendations………………….. 150

Table-91       Reasons for Non – Implementation………………………………………. 151

Table-92       Opinion on Contract System of Employment………………………….. 152

Table-93       ILL-Effects of Contract System…………………………………………… 153

Table-94       Merits of Contract System…………………………………………………. 154

Table-95       Union Membership…………………………………………………………… 156

Table-96       Union Protecting Interests of Working Journalists……………………. 157

Table-97       Acceptance of Trade Union Tactics……………………………………… 158

Table-98       Reasonableness of Media Owners………………………………………. 159

Table-99       Acceptance of Collective Bargaining…………………………………….. 160

Table-100     Ethicality of Unionisation…………………………………………………… 161

Table-101     Protest against Employers Response…………………………………… 162

Table-102    Co-operation with Management Response…………………………….. 163

Table-103     Fudging of Accounts by Management Response…………………….. 164

Table-104     The Media that Pay Better Wages Response…………………………. 165

Table-105     Better Paymasters Private Vs Government Organisations…………. 166

Table-106     Advantage of FDI in Media Sector……………………………………….. 167

Table-107     Activeness of the State Union of Journalists …………………………. 168

Table-108     Reasons for Union inactivity………………………………………………. 169

Table-109     Acceptance of Wage Board Recommendations………………………. 170

Table-110     Implementation Level of Wage Board Recommendations…………… 170

Table-111     Reasons for Non-Implementation……………………………………….. 171

Table-112     Opinion on Contract System of Employment………………………….. 171

Table-113     ILL Effects of the Contract System …………………………………….. 172

Table-114     Merits of the Contract System……………………………………………. 173

Table-115     Membership of Union……………………………………………………….. 174

Table-116     Protective Power of Unions……………………………………………….. 174

Table-117     Acceptance of Trade Union Activities…………………………………… 175

Table-118     Reasonableness of Media Owners………………………………………. 176

Table-119     Acceptance of Collective Bargaining…………………………………….. 176

Table-120     Ethicality of Unionsation……………………………………………………. 177

Table-121     Protest against Employers…………………………………………………. 177

Table-122     Justifiability of Demand for Higher Wages……………………………… 178

Table-123     Co-operation with Management…………………………………………… 178

Table-124     Fudging of Accounts………………………………………………………… 179

Table -125    Medium that Pays Better Wages…………………………………………. 179

Table-126     The Sector that Paid Better Response………………………………….. 180

Table-127     Advantage of Foreign Direct Investment in Media Sector…………… 180

Table 128     Activeness of the State Union of Journalists………………………….. 181

Table-129     Reasons for Union Inactivity………………………………………………. 181

Fig: 1    Age-wise Composition of Respondents…………………………………………. 45

Fig: 2    Education-wise Classification of Respondents………………………………. 77

Fig: 4    Income-wise Classification………………………………………………………… 78

Fig: 4    Classification of Journalists……………………………………………………….. 79

Fig:5     Reasons for Non-Implementation ……………………………………………….. 82

Fig: 6.   Merits of the Contract System……………………………………………………. 85

Fig: 7    Reasonableness of Media Owners………………………………………………. 87

Fig: 8    Justifiability of Demand for Higher Wages……………………………………… 89

Fig: 8    Advantage of Foreign Direct Investment in the Media Sector……………… 92

Fig: 9    Reasons for Inactivity of the Union………………………………………………. 93

Fig: 10 Level of Implementation of Wage Board Recommendations……………….. 95

Fig: 11 Membership of Union……………………………………………………………….. 102

Fig: 13 Acceptance of Trade Union Tactics……………………………………………… 104

Fig: 14 Acceptance of Collective Bargaining:……………………………………………. 105

Fig: 15 Activeness of the State Union of Journalists………………………………….. 112

Fig: 16 Acceptance of Trade Union Activities…………………………………………… 118

Fig: 17 Acceptances of the Wage Board Recommendations………………………… 125

Fig: 18 Level of Implementation of Wage Board Recommendations ………………. 127

Fig: 19 Power of Unions to Protect Interests of Working Journalists ……………… 135

Fig: 20 Activeness of the State Union of Journalists………………………………….. 147

Fig: 21 Acceptance of Collective Bargaining…………………………………………….. 160

Fig: 22 Activeness of the State Union of Journalists  ………………………………… 168

Fig: 23 Protective Power of Unions……………………………………………………….. 175

Chapter-1

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1 Introduction

1.1.1 Background

1.1.2 Objectives (General and Specific)

1.1.3 Social Significance

1.1.4 How the Present Research is Different from Other Studies

1.2 Review of literature

1.3 Research Methodology

1.3.1 Profile – Social and Economic Profile of Respondents

                   1.3.1.1 Population and Sample

1.3.2 Method Adopted

1.3.3 Merits and Demerits

Chapter-2

TRADE UNION MOVEMENTS IN KERALA:

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES

2.1 Social and Political Scene in Kerala

2.2 Poltical Awakenening in Kerala

2.3 Social Structure

2.4 Emergence and Dominance of Leftists

2.5 Early Phase in Travancore

2.6 The Developments after the Punnappra-Vayalar Revolt

2.7 Union Movement in Kollam

2.8 Unions in Cashew Industry

2.9 Union Movement in Cochin

2.10 Union Movement in Malabar

2.11 All Kerala Trade Union Convention, 1935

2.12 Union Movement in the Plantations

2.13 Politics and Independence of Trade Unions

2.14 Changing Character

2.15 Positive Aspects

2.16 Remarks and Conclusions

 

Chapter-3

JOURNALISTS’ ASSOCIATIONS: HISTORY AND ACHIEVEMENTS

3.1 Indian Scenario

3.2 The Indian Federation of Working Journalists. (IFWJ)

3.3  The Achievements of the Indian Federation of Working Journalists

3.4 The Beginning in Kerala

3.5 Earlier Journalists’ Unions in Kerala

3.5.1 Malabar

3.5.2 Travancore and Cochin

3.5.3 Kollam

3.5.4 Kottayam

3.5.5 Alappuzha

3.5.6 Kozhikodu

3.5.7 Thrissur

3.5.8 Ernakulam

3.6 Strikes Led By Kerala Union of Working Journalists

3.6.1 Keralakaumudi

3.7 A Reverse Statement

3.8 Strikes in Mathrubhoomi

3.8.1 Bonus Strike

3.9 Second Strike in Mathrubhoomi

3.9.1 Settlement Agreement

3.10 Union Takes Disciplinary Action against Its Members

3.11 Labour Problem in Indian Express

3.12 The Demands of Management

3.13 The Contention of the Employees Union

3.14 Welfare Activities of KUWJ

3.15 The Journalists’ Welfare Trust

3.16 Pension for Journalists

3.17. Remarks and Conclusions

Chapter-4

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

4.1 Data and Data Analysis

4.2 Population and Sample

4.3 Remarks and Conclusions

Chapter-5

DATA PRESENTATION AND INTERPRETATION

Chapter-6

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

BIBLIOGRAPHY

ANNEXURE

Chapter-1

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1 INTRODUCTION

1.1.1 Background

Journalism has an important part to play in trade unionism.  Trade unions are usually viewed as an appendix that destabilizes good relations between management and labourers.  This view point has been considerably changed now.  Today trade unions are seen not merely as organisations that favour the management but as institutions that can contribute to the progress of workers as well as to production by affirming the right of the producers to share the benefits of the productsThe absence of overt conflict is very much important for industrial peace.  To a great extent, journalism has contributed to this change in the view point.  Now, journalists themselves have formed trade unions and are not only fighting for their rights and privileges but also trying to maintain the freedom of the press at all costs, and place the Fourth Estate in the sanctum sanctorum of a state where it should lawfully and rightly remain in a democratic set up.

People always talk about freedom of the press, especially in a democracy. Does it mean the freedom of the journalist to collect facts and figures without any bias? That alone will not make him free and independent.  He works under a constraint.  He is an employee under a remote control.  The management which has its own vested interests to safe guard impedes and restrains him to a large extent.  Some times, when he works according to his conscience, he is forced to disobey the management and thereby incurs the ire of the management.  That means, he will not be able to practice the fundamental principles of journalism “facts are sacred: comment is free”.  But a collective bargaining and an assembly of journalists can become a force to fight against injustice and also stand sentinel over truth and fight against perverting facts and figures for the benefits of a small coterie of people.  Hence is the need of trade unionism in journalism.  But, trade unionism does not mean shirking one’s duties and responsibilities; on the contrary, calls for more self discipline, self-restraint and dedication.  Every journalist or union worker must realize this and then only trade unionism will be crowned with success.  It calls for more labour and sweat; it calls for a commitment to one’s profession; it calls for sacrifice of an individual’s interests to the larger interests of the society and the nation.  In return, a journalist must get a free and healthy atmosphere to work and it guarantees him the perseverance of his rights and privileges, and finally, a sound financial position to live on and maintain his family.

Kerala, though a tiny state at the extreme end of India, has myriad trade unions and provides examples to different types of industrial relations and trade union activity.  Journalism can play an important role in making the leaders aware of the fact that unions have concentrated only on economic gains and in the process have not been playing their historical role in society.  Unless they are oriented properly, the trade union leaders can never be expected to struggle for a new society free from exploitation.  Union activities cease when the leaders go in the direction of fringe benefits from the establishment.   Journalism has an important part to play, to motivate the labour class, to strive for better life conditions and at the same time, give them a vision of the new society for which they should aim at and aspire for, while making the trade unions aware of the vital role they have to play in taking the proletariat towards a new society instead of working for the integration of the producers with the capitalist system.

Journalists were working at the mercy of press management for a long time without any pay structure and other benefits.  They started bargaining collectively for their rights in 1950 when the Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ) was established.  In Kerala, the journalists came together under the Kerala Union of Working Journalists in 1968 and it was affiliated to IFWJ.  Till now the KUWJ has been playing an active role among Journalists in Kerala and has many achievements to its credit.

The National Union of Journalists (India) – NUJ is a union of working journalists, with affiliated units in almost all states.

The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) is the other trade union of working journalists in India.

1.1.2 Objectives (General and Specific)

The objectives of the study mainly include:

1.    An overall assessment of trade unionism of working journalists in Kerala till today.

2.    An in depth study of Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) and IFWJ.

3.     An analysis of the aims and objectives of KUWJ and IFWJ, to find how much these cherished aims have been realized and attained.

Broadly the study aims at making a comprehensive examination of the problems faced by the journalists.  In Kerala where the local issues and news gather more importance than national and international problems and this compulsion to show the preference, is thrust on them as they have immediate duties and obligations to negotiate.

The study also intends to highlight the contributions of a few pioneer and veteran journalists in Kerala whose achievements are substantial.

It will record the performance and achievements of the working journalist’s unions in embarking upon a movement for the betterment of the working conditions of the journalists.

By and large, the investigation is to perceive the dominant political, social and cultural forces which have worked as the chief influences in forming KUWJ, and evaluate the significant contribution made by the union in various fields especially for the journalists in Kerala and highlight the philanthropic task it has undertaken in the past.

1.1.3 Social Significance

There is a strong interconnection between the media and the people.  In fact, the media reflects the people’s opinions, aspirations and emotions.  It also influences the people in forming legitimate and powerful feelings and gives ample support to them to safeguard their constitutional rights and privileges.  The Fourth Estate is the most powerful agency in a democratic society.  The well being of the media persons and smooth functioning of the journalists are vital in such a context.  Union like KUWJ guarantees the healthy working condition of the journalists in an amicable and cordial atmosphere without any tension between the government and the press and also with the people.  Union attempts to promote and maintain the highest standards of professional conduct and integrity.  This study will give the union leaders and the people to view their activities retrospectively and rectify their mistakes, and pave way for a harmonious relationship between the people and the journalists.  The study will create a new awareness about the working of KUWJ among the people and thereby assure people’s involvement in its activities.

1.1.4 How the Present Research is Different from Other Studies

The study is not just be an assembling of the facts connected with KUWJ.  It is a criticism of its activities and an evaluation of the proposed aims and objectives and achievements.  This objective analysis of the union activities will bring to light, the achievements and also how much it can accomplish in future.  The study is, not only a valuable source of information but also a guide for the posterity.  Studies such as this will bring people’s attention and involvement in the union activities more and thereby ensure better constructional criticism which will ultimately help the union to reach higher levels of achievements.

The research is centered on the activities and objectives of KUWJ but is not focused exclusively on KUWJ alone.  The study compares the activities and objectives of KUWJ with other associations in Kerala.  Kerala is a very fertile ground for union activities.  In fact, there exist more than 100 unions of different types of workers.

Eg:-        Unions in Cashew industry.

Union’s movement in the Plantations.

Coir workers Union.

The thesis compares and contrasts the activities and objectives of KUWJ and with some of the other associations of repute, thereby brings to light not only the merits and demerits of KUWJ but also the other similar unions.

The study also evaluates the activities of the Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ) to which KUWJ is affiliated.  In this regard, the study is a pioneer one, unique in every aspect and the findings certainly have great social significance, for it can become a trend-setter for the future trade union activities.

1.2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE

K. Ramachandran Nair in his book ‘The History of Trade Union Movement in Kerala’ presents a detailed analysis of the beginning, development and growth of various trade unions operating with different spheres of Kerala.  Trade unionism emerged as a powerful labour institution in Kerala.  Historical factors played an important part.  In the early stages, trade union leaders inculcated a spirit of class consciousness among the workers to fight against imperialist and colonial forces which ravaged the Indian continent.  In the early stages, the trade union activists met with brutal treatment both from the ruling class and from the feudal lords.  Nair analyses the issues systematically and presents the problems in a rational and realistic manner.  Most trade unions in Kerala are offshoots of either the congress party or the communist party.  Nair states that over politicalisation or trade union poses serious constraints to trade union activities.

A. Sreedhara Menon in his book ‘Kerala and Freedom Struggle’ says that the role of Kerala in India’s freedom movement is not less significant than that of any other state.  According to Menon, the social history of modern Kerala is inextricably inter-twined with its political history.  The social renaissance which took place in the 19th and 20th centuries was at once the cause and consequence of the political awakening.  Social change promoted political consciousness among the people.  Menon establishes that the year 1930 turned out to be the annus mirabilis not for India but particularly for Kerala.  K. Velappan led volunteers to break the salt laws at Payyannur and the picketing of toddy shops and boycott of foreign cloth conducted in several places, had its impact on the political and social awakening of Kerala.

K. Ramachandran Nair in his book ‘Industrial Relations in Kerala’ talks about the early phase of trade union movement in Travancore, taking the important centres separately as there are some regional as well as industry specificity in the developments.  The book gives an objective documentation of the growth of the trade union movement in Kerala.

K.C. Govindan in ‘Memories of an Early Trade unionist’  gives a good description of Vadappuram Bava who was a skilled worker and organizer.  He left Darragh Smail and drifted from one factory to another till he was appointed a ‘Mooppan’ in M. L. Janardhanan Pillai’s general supplies Agency.  He worked there till he was dismissed for authoring a provocative social pamphlet.  Bava took the initiative of convening a meeting of like-minded persons and a seven member governing body of a Labour Union was formed.  To Bava the formation of the Labour Union was the fulfillment of a long cherished dream.

R. Prakasam, in his book ‘Keralathile Trade Union Prasthanathinte Charithram’ describes briefly the history of trade unionism in Kerala.  The first coir factory was reported to be established in 1859 by James Darragh (Darragh Smail & Co.) in Alapuzha. Europeans gave the native workers training in weaving.  According to Prakasam, the wage rate in the pre-war period was only four annas a day.  Soon, piece rate was introduced.  Workers used to start from home much before sunrise, reach factory and toil there till dusk.  Moopans (job contractors) recruited the workers and supervised them.  They were like tyrants showing no kindness to workers.  The book gives every detail about the early struggles of the workers and narrates briefly the growth of the trade union movement in Kerala.

Two important books which deal with the Punnappra-Vaylar struggle are ‘Punnappra –Vaylar’ by K. C. George and ‘Punnappra-Vayalar, ‘Jawalikkunna Adhayalangal’ by M. T. Chandrasenan. Punnappra-Vayalar agitation was a very important working class struggle which took place in Cherthala and which had far reaching consequences in Kerala’s political history.  It was also a part of the freedom struggle because it witnessed an uprising of the common people against the despotic ambitions of the Dewan who tried to create anti-communist feelings among the public.  K. C. George and M. T. Chandrasenan who were directly involved in the Punnappra-Vayalar struggle had given graphic accounts of the events.  Punnappra-Vayalar revolt was the result of a demand for a comprehensive revolutionary change in society.

A. K. Gopalan’s ‘Ente Jeevitha Katha’ has become a part of the history of the trade union movement in Kerala because A. K. Gopalan was not only a communist leader but also a pioneer in the establishment of trade union among the workers especially in Malabar.

P. Kesavan Nair’s ‘Kasuvandi Thozhilalikalude Samara Charithram’ is a collection of articles serialized in various issues of ‘CITU Sandesam’ and it traces the history of the struggles of cashew nut workers in Kerala.  The conditions of the cashew nut labourers were inhuman and deplorable.  The Trade union bill presented in the Travancore Legislature gave inspiration and opportunity for the cashew workers to organize and form trade unions.  The Kollam Labour Union supported the formation and development of a separate trade union of cashew factory workers.  Gradually within a few years, trade union movement began to flourish.

Payyappilly Balan’s “The Aluva Trade Union Movement and Changing Times: Analytical Reminiscences of an Early Activist” is an essay on International Congress on Kerala studies.   The essay deals with the trade unionism in Aluva an industrial town of Kerala and is written in personal perspective.  But it clearly illustrates the various thoughts and influences which paved way for the establishment of various trade unions.  It also narrates certain people’s like K. N. Gopala Pillai, one of the founders of the FACT Employee’s association, unforgettable episode of life during his trade union work.

C. Bhaskaran in his book ‘Keralathile Communist Prasthanam’ describes the reminiscences of E.M.S. Namboothiripad, E. K. Nayanar, V. S. Achuthanandan, Chadayan Gopalan, A. K. Gopalan, C. H. Kanaran, K. Damodaran, K. P. R. Gopalan Rarayaraappan, P. S. Namboodiri, P. Gangadharan, A. George Chadayanmury and R. Sugathan.  Unlike the trade union in Travancore and Cochin, in Malabar Trade Unionism was closely incooperated with the communist movement.  As such it is a valuable reference source.

Achutha Menon in his book ‘What Happened in Kerala’ sheds light into trade unionism in Kerala and more specifically into the creation and growth of the Kerala State Transport Employees’ Union.  It traces its history and how it became one of the most important trade unions in Kerala.

O. Bharathan’s ‘Nerippodu’ is autobiographical articles serialized in ‘Mathrubhoomy Weekly’ and it throws light on the beginning and growth of trade union in the plantations.

The first Press Commission of India did a bit of pioneering study on trade unionism in the Indian press. The Press Commission report submitted in 1954 made a tertiary analysis of the phenomenon.  In fact, the very establishment of a wage board for journalists is based on its recommendations.

Arun Bhattacharjee in his book ‘Indian Journalism:  From Profession to Industry’ gives a detailed analysis of the issues involved in trade union activities by Indian journalists.

The Second Press Commission report has also dealt with the issue of trade unionism in Indian journalism in a somewhat diluted manner, not addressing the core issues.

Nadig Krishnamoorthi in his book ‘Indian Journalism:  From Asoka to Nehru’ makes a mention of Working Journalists Act and wage boards were set up as a result of the first Press Commission’s recommendation along with the initial details.

S. Natarajan in his elaborate study on the ‘History of the Indian Press’ makes indirect references to the issue.  However, it is more a historical evaluation than an analytical one.

Durga Das Basu in his monumental work, ‘The Law of the press in India’, has made a detailed presentation of the legal provisions related to working journalists and the constitution of Wage Boards for them.

1.3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

1.3.1 Profile – Social and Economic Profile of Respondents

As the study is about KUWJ, the primary respondents are journalists who are the members of the union. The research problem has been identified by reviewing literature in the field and, from the researchers own experience.

The study is based on both primary and secondary data. Primary data is collected using a structured questionnaire method. Secondary data is collected from various published and unpublished reports and Trade union Documents.

Primary data collected using a schedule on choice based and open ended questions. The collected data is analyzed using percentage analysis.

1.3.1.1 Population and Sample

The population consists of 1600 Working Journalists in the state, who have membership in Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ). Among these, 500 samples is selected from three districts, Kottayam, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode using random sampling method. Lottery method is applied for selecting 500 journalists from the population.

1.3.2 Method Adopted

A brief survey of the history of the functioning of KUWJ has been attempted.  The various strikes it had undertaken and the various welfare programmes had been studied in detail. Also, the comparative study is extended to a larger perspective by comparing KUWJ’s activities with other workers unions.  The historical perspective of the trade union movements in Kerala had been studied.  The limitations of the unions are found out by collecting opinions from its members and also from other people.  The opinions are analysed and codified systematically and conclusions are deducted from them.  The study is descriptive, historical and exploratory.  The opinions of journalists collected by employing the survey method are analysed on percentage basis.

The researcher selected a total of 600 respondents. Out of the 600 respondents who were administered the questionnaire, only 500 returned the questionnaire filled.  The questionnaire was close-ended for reasons of specificity and precision. However Open-ended questions were also given. All these respondents belonged to different media organizations, especially the print. Due to the problem of logistics, journalists in three districts of Kerala, Kottayam, Thiruvananthapuram and  Kozhikode were selected.

 

 

1.3.3 Merits and Demerits

The study is first of its kind.  There has been no such study preceding this one and therefore no material is available and no thesis to be taken as a model.  The absence of substantial material is a handicap.  But to the present investigator, it was an advantage and a challenge because it gave him an opportunity to break a fresh ground and make original discoveries.

At the first glance, the subject appears to have a limited scope as the study centers upon KUWJ alone.  But it is not true, through one example done in essentials and details, the study generalizes facts and figures and there by exposes the limitations of the union activities in general and suggests a few important measures to rectify and improve the system.  It lays emphasis on the social and philanthropic efforts the unions can take up and thus occupy a very important position in uplifting the society and upholding the values of democracy like freedom, equality and fraternity.  It demonstrates how the journalists can stand for the rights and privileges of the de-privileged classes.

Chapter-2

TRADE UNION MOVEMENTS IN KERALA:

 HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES 

 

The history of trade union movement in Kerala, spread over several regions and sectors, is closely related with the political movement in the state. The trade unions had played a vanguard role in the political movement for freedom and a responsible government. Political ideologies and beliefs had brought together the various segments of the working classes.

“Political mobilization, in the strict sense of the term, was the work of the left ideologists, the socialists, and radical elements among them. They called the Coir and fishing workers in Punnappra and Vayalar to rise and fight against the feudal lords, European native petty capitalists, and the aristocracy and its armed forces all in the name of freedom and emancipation of the working class. Similar episodes were enacted in Cochin and Malabar. But it was in Malabar, that the revolutionary Communist movement took up the challenge of political and working class mobilization and consolidation with greater vigour. Its father figure P. Krishna Pillai, though born in Vaikom in old Travancore, took up the role of providing a connecting link between the movements in Malabar, Cochin and Travancore”[1]

From its formative years, trade union movements were integrally part of politics in the State. Also, the socio-political developments in the State helped the early politicalisation of a large segment of the traditional labour force.

Kerala, formed in 1956 is a union of three regional areas, Travancore, Cochin and Malabar. Of these Travancore and Cochin were ruled by the Kings, while Malabar was part of the Madras Residency ruled directly by the British. The socio- political elements and conditions were totally different in the three regions. Trade union movements have originated independently in these regions and later because of the Communist ideologies, to which the masses were attracted at a period of time, got amalgamated. Even from the outset, there was an interlinkage between trade union movement and the political movement. The evolution of trade unionism happened in different segments. Alappuzha is the birth place of trade unions in Travancore. The trade unions emerged in Cochin and Trichur had significant variation with the trade unions in Travancore. There was also no uniformity in the movement in Malabar, Cochin and Travancore. The untiring work of P. Krishna Pillai imparted a new vigour and vitality to the trade unions and he was responsible for integrating the movement in a systematic and organised manner.

Social reform movements, nationalist politics accompanied by a radical political movement, Indian National sectors of the traditional labouring forces in Kerala and proletariat of a large segment of the labouring poor and organised them in trade unions. This development was a watershed in the evolution of labour market as it exists today in Kerala.

2.1 Social and Political scene in Kerala

In Kerala, in the first decade of twentieth century the farmers and tenants of Malabar registered their protest against exploitation by the landed gentry and supported by the British. Several farmers’ struggles were conducted at Panthaloor, Nenmeni, Paaval, Meppathur, Thirkkalloor, Malappuram, Ponnani, Keezhumuri, Mannarkad, Perinthalmanna and Kuttichira. Backward classes and castes also initiated struggles against inhuman treatment meted out to them by the superior forward classes and castes. The struggle was for securing social equality and freedom from enslavement of one class or caste by another. Some of them were closely linked with the freedom movement.

Professor A. Sreedhara Menon, the distinguished historian,  has given a graphic account of the popular insurrections and royal dissidence in Kerala.  He writes.

“The role of Kerala in India’s struggle for freedom is not less significant than that of any other state of the Indian Union and viewed in the national perspective, it had its own Indian National Congress view too. However, the contribution of the State in this field has not received the attention it deserves. There are several episodes  connected with the freedom struggle in Kerala  which should have found their place in historical narratives dealing with India’s freedom struggle, but they have not been honored even with casual footnotes in the accounts compiled by national historians.”[2]

Among  other things, several episodes of struggles like the resistance against the Portuguese  colonialism led by Kunjali Marakkar (1500-1600), the fight against the imperialist  designs of the Dutch in Colachal(1741), the Attingal outbreaks  against the British (1697 and 1721),the Thalasserry struggles between the British and the combined forces of Kolathunad, Kottayam and Kadathanad (1750) and the entry  of the French at Mayyazhi (Mahe) and their  intrigues with local Princes. This encouraged the British  to establish their hegemony through wars and also treaties. By the end of the eighteenth century, the whole of Kerala  came under the political control of the British, Malabar District was part of the British India and the states of Travancore and Cochin as protected states. There then followed several armed insurrections and popular upheavals organized by the patriotic elements of the population who were determined to overthrow British authority and to regain its lost Independence.

 

“The dispossessed Princes and chieftains and aggrieved sections of the population like the peasantry and the tribal communities were in the forefront of these insurrections and upheavals.”[3]

Menon however, quotes Kathleen Gough, the anthropologist who has classified these early anti-British uprisings into five types namely, restorative, religious, social banditry, terrorist vengeance and armed insurrection. The uprisings in Kerala too came by large under these categories. A close examination of secondary sources as well as reminiscences of people who participated in this struggle suggest that on many occasions the working class has conducted struggles both for working class issues and political issues. Indeed, the trade union movement  in Kerala cannot be  discussed in  isolation with the socio- political movements.

2.2 Poltical AWAKENING In Kerala

The Indian National Congress spearheaded the national freedom movement since its inception, in 1885. It attracted the attention of the people of Kerala. Chettur Sankaran Nair, G.P.Pillai, V. Raiyur Namibar, Mannath Krishnan Nair, C. Kunhirama Menon, Dr. T.M Nair, C.Karunakara Menon, K.P Achutha Menon and several others used to attend the annual sessions of the Indian National Congress. The Congress was more active in Malabar as it was directly under the British administration. However, organized political movement began only after the turn of the twentieth century.”[4]

The entry of Swadeshabhimani Ramakrishna Pillai in the political arena was a milestone in the history of Kerala. A fearless journalist, he was determined to fight against corruption, nepotism, and moral turpitude. He was a champion of popular liberties. He edited the Malayalam newspaper ‘Swadeshabhimani’ published by the great Muslim social activist Vakkom Abdul Khader Moulavi. The Government confiscated the newspaper and the press and deported Ramakirshna Pillai from the State on September 26, 1916. He was the first to bring socialist thought and a biography of Karal Marx to Malayalees long before the appearance of Mahatma Gandhi in the  Indian political scene and almost a quarter of a century before the birth of the Communist Party in Kerala.

In 1914, the Home Rule League convened a conference in Thrissur and organized the Gokhale Memorial Association to educate people about the fight for freedom. In 1918 the Kochi Mahajana Sabha was formed on the initiative of C.P. Achutha Menon (author of Cochin State Manual) and T.R. Ramachandra Iyer. The Indian National Congress leaders in Thrissur were Eikkanda Warrier and Muthedathu Narayana Menon. In Cochin, a leading figure was Paliath Cheriya Kunjunni Achan. All of them tried to instill political conscious among the people of Cochin state.

The extremists were setting up revolutionary organizations in the nationalist movement and they inspired some in Kerala too to initiate similar ventures. In Punalur, Vanchi Iyer, a clerk working in the forest office became a member of a secret society and he murdered Ashe, the British Collector of Tirunelveli at the Maniyachi Railway Station on June 17,1911. After the killing, Vanchi Iyer shot himself to end his life.

During the First World War, some Indian revolutionaries sided with Germany against Britian. Chempaka Raman Pillai from Thiruvanan- thapuram was such a revolutionary. A.C.Narayanan Nambiar of North Malabar was another. Chempaka Raman Pillai mobilized Indians in Germany in the fight against British imperialism.

2.3 Social Structure

According to Prof. Sreedhara Menon, “the social history of modern Kerala is inextricably inter-twined with its political history. The social renaissance which took place in the State in the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries was at once the cause and consequence of political awakening”[5].

“The high castes like the Namboodiris, Kshatriyas and Nairs constituted the land owning class while Ezhavas and Mappilas (Muslims) belonged to the tenant class subjected to oppression by the former. Under the British rule, the feudal landlords became powerful. Slavery in the most primitive form prevailed and the tillers of land were often attached to the land and its owners. They were denied even basic human rights. Women of lower castes including Ezhavas were not allowed to wear blouses to cover their chest. Non-Brahmin castes including Nairs were denied some social privileges. A series of iniquitous cesses and taxes were imposed on the underprivileged sections of the society. The backward communities (Avarnas) among the Hindus were denied entry into temples, schools and public services. The evils of ‘untouchability’, ‘inapproachability’ and ‘unseeability’ were practiced. The practice of ‘theendal’ (pollution) was widely observed.  Members of the lower castes had to keep themselves at a prescribed distance from those of the upper castes. Many of the roads, particularly those leading to the temples, were inaccessible to lower-castes, though the Christians and Muslims were exempted. Inter -religious and inter-caste marriages and inter-dining were not allowed. There were, for instance, Brahmin hotels and Nair hotels, which did not serve food to people of lower castes”[6].

Kerala could not remain isolated from the mainstream of All-India freedom movement. It played its role in the non-co-operation and Khilafat movements of the early twenties. Malabar, in particular, witnessed large-scale boycott of foreign goods, courts of law and educational institutions. The Kerala provincial Congress Committee (KPCC) organised the first All Kerala provincial Conference at Ottappalam on April 23, 1921 and during the session the police beat up a few delegates.

“It was in the early 1920s, that the State Congress in Travancore came into being. A.K.Pillai, who had returned to India giving up his legal studies in England, took up political work in Travancore under instructions from Gandhiji. He took a leading part in the Ottappalam provincial conference. On his initiative, a Congress office was opened in Kollam with the close co-operation of K.G. Sankar and together they did yeomen service in spreading the ideals of the Congress. In Trivandrum too, a Congress Committee started functioning at the time on the initiative of A.K. Pillai and V. Achutha Menon”[7].

The year 1930 turned out to be the annus mirabilis (wonder year) in modern Indian history. The Lahore session of the Indian National Congress passed the resolution on Purna Swaraj on the New Year Day of 1930 and Gandhiji set out on his Dandi March on the first day of March 1930 with 78 volunteers. Among whom were four from Kerala including C. Krishnan Nair and Titus from Kottayam.

The struggle all over India were supported by struggles in Kerala also, particularly in Malabar. The main venues of Salt Satyagraha in Kerala were the beaches at Payyannur and Kozhikode. K.Kelappan led a batch of 32 volunteers and broke the salt laws at Payyannur on April 21, 1930. The picketing of toddy shops and boycott of foreign cloth were also conducted at several places.

2.4 Emergence and Dominance of Leftists

The Congress workers in Malabar were enraged when the Government declared the Indian National Congress unlawful and resorted to a series of repressive measures. The withdrawal of the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1934 saw a realignment of forces within the Congress on ideological basis. The younger sections of Congressmen accepted the socialist ideology. They felt that the Gandhian method of non-violent non co-operation would not help. They wanted to bring peasants and workers into the movement. For this, they formed the Kerala Congress Socialist Party within the Indian National Congress on May 12, 1934. C.K. Govindhan Nair agreed to be its President, though the main forces behind were P.Krishna Pillai, its Secretary and EMS Namboodiripad as a member. In September 1937 when C.K. Govindhan Nair resigned, EMS was made the President.

Following the economic depression of 1930s, the hardship of common man became worse. Peasants, workers, teachers and even students joined the struggle under the banner of Kerala Congress Socialist Party dominated by leftists. Soon the Congress in Malabar had three groups, the dominant Leftists, the Rightists and the Nationalist Muslims, the last one led by Muhammed Abdur Rahman. Many alleged that communists were masquerading as Congress Socialists and their aim was a proletarian revolution to establish a classless society.

A.K. Gopalan narrates the developments in working class-peasant struggles held in Malabar during the period 1934-47. A.K.G. strongly beilieved that

“the civil disobedience and non-co-operation struggle conducted by the Indian National Congress and the KPCC on Gandhian lines failed because  they could not mobilize the exploited and the downtrodden classes of small peasants, tenants, landless and the factory workers”[8].

In fact, the Congress Socialists, kindled by Marxist-Leninist ideology and the experience of Soviet Union building up a socialist state, wanted to build up a similar society in the country.  A.K.G described his observations on the day-to-day life of the classes of people exploited by capitalists and feudal landlords. Soon A.K. Gopalan, E.M.Sankaran Nampoothirippadu and P. Krishna Pillai came together and took over the responsibility of bringing the exploited classes into the mainstream struggle for independence and also tried to build a socialist society founded on equity and justice.

As early as 1935 several trade unions had been formed. Mention must be made of the Weaving Workers of Azhikode, Company Union in Feroke, Devadar Malabar Reconstruction Trust etc, in Malabar and the Travancore Labour Association (TLA) in Alappuzha and the Kollam Labour Union. They conducted several struggles to establish the right to form unions and fight for decent wages and working conditions including the limiting of working hours to 48 hours a week.

Both Travancore and Cochin were Princely states and as such were not directly under the control of the British. The central leadership of the Indian National Congress had prohibited the Congress Committees in these Princely states from direct involvement in political agitations. So, these committees concentrated mainly on struggles for responsible government. According to Prof. Sreedharan Menon,

“These agitations were in a sense proxy wars against the British who were the paramount power in these states as they supplemented the struggle for freedom being waged in British Malabar under the direct guidance and control of the Indian National Congress”[9].

While the Government of Travancore adopted a policy of uncompromising hostility to the demand for responsible government, the Government of Cochin took a cautious policy of meeting the demand in stages. The agitation in Travancore unfolded a story of repression, while that of Cochin was a mixture of repression and constitutional reforms.

 

 

2.5 Early Phase in Travancore

A Royal Proclamation abolished predial slavery in Travancore in 1855. A system of money wages was gradually established. It recognized freedom of contract. That marked the first stage in the improvement in the conditions of workers and their wages of labour. The passing of the Factories Act in 1913 brought further benefits to labourers. During the first quarter of the twentieth century, the State was under the grip of poverty and unemployment on a large-scale. Conditions of labour deteriorated still further with the onset of the economic depression of the 1930s.

“There is a certain amount of obscurity regarding the origin of the trade union movement in Kerala. One version is that it began from the attempts at organizing labour in the coir mats and matting industry in Alapuzha which began in 1920’s. The organization was known as the Travancore Labour Association (TLA). The post-war prosperity of the industry had come to an end with the mushroom growth of uneconomic units and decline in the market for coir goods. Some of the units were constrained to close down and wages paid to labourers were deliberately reduced. There was also widespread unemployment. It was under these circumstances that the TLA was formed”[10].

“The Travancore Labour Association was the first to get registration under the Travancore Trade Unions Act of 1937. On registration, the TLA was renamed as the Travancore Coir Factory worker’s Union (TCFWU). The history of industrial disputes in Travancore dates back to the year 1938 when the first ever general strike was held by workers in the coir mats and matting manufacturing industry under the auspices of TCFWU. This strike was used as a means of ventilating the many grievances of workers. The District Magistrate of Kollam was asked by the Government of Travancore to conduct a preliminary enquiry into the grievances of the workers.

The report of the enquiry was submitted to the Government in September 1938”[11].

As soon as the Travancore Trade Disputes Act was passed in 1938, the Government decided to appoint a Board of Conciliation to conduct a detailed investigation into the trade disputes in the coir industry so as to promote a settlement of all issues. K.George, the then Land Revenue and Income Tax Commissioner headed the Board. The alleged grievances stated in the long memorandum submitted by the TCFWU to the Board related to reduction of wages, payment of wages in kind or the truck system, indirect and unauthorised cutting from wages, imposition of fines, unauthorized and unjust deductions and exactions, unsatisfactory work and health conditions, non-recognition of trade unions, and failure to provide for labour representation in the legislature. In those days wages were never settled in full and this led to exploitation. Victimization was common and universal. The wage rates were alleged to have been reduced by 50 per cent during the years 1934 to 1938.

The George Committee felt that one of the basic reasons for friction and strife in the coir industry was the absence of personal contact between employers and workers. Unfortunately, the parties held the view that it will be difficult to establish harmonious relationship between them”[12].

The general strike started by the TCFWU soon spread to other coir factory centres. The strike involved about 30,000 workers and lasted 26 days from August 16 to September 11,1938. The immediate outcome of the strike was the grant by the employers of a compassionate allowance of 6.50 per cent on the basic wages followed by the appointment of the Board of Conciliation. Then the coir industry began spearheading the development of healthy industrial relation practices in the State. The Dewan of Travancore had taken a personal interest in the settlement of this dispute.

By December 1944, the membership of the TCFWU reached an all-time record of 17010. It included about 90 per cent of the workers in the industry in and around Alappuzha. Apart form the central organization, the branches also had large membership. In addition to the entrance fee of 2 annas and 3 paise, the Union also collected funds through special donations and monthly subscriptions. An Executive Committee, composed of a President, Secretaries and 42 elected members, representing each of the 42 wards or territorial divisions in and around Alappuzha where workers lived, conducted the affairs of the Union.

“Under the inspiration of the Travancore Coir Factory Workers Union (TCFWU), workers in various employments had formed unions and they got affiliated to the All Travancore Trade Union Council (ATTUC) which was under the All India Trade Union Council (AITUC), People were looking at the ATTUC, for guiding them to secure relief from unemployment, poverty, low wages and high prices. Most of them had lost faith in the State Congess; on the other hand, had a close affection to the Communists who knew their pulse. T.V. Thomas, as President and R. Sugathan, as Secretary led then ATTUC. The ATTUC declared a general strike for three days in July 1946. The Dewan met this strike by imposing prohibitory orders on marches, demonstrations and public meetings”[13].

2.6 The Developments After the Punnappra-Vayalar Revolt

“The Punnappra-Vayalar Revolt was no doubt an integral part of the freedom struggle in Travancore and the working class, which was mobilized by the communists, played a leading role. The revolt became inevitable, when the Dewan Sir C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer started becoming a dictator. He was bent on wiping out the Communists from Travancore, and, as a first step, he wanted to destroy the link between the trade unions and the communists. On October 19, 1946, the Government issued a Gazette Notification declaring the Communist Party and also the trade unions controlled by it as unlawful and strong action would be taken against subversion under the provisions of the Criminal Law Amendment Act”[14].

From November 1, 1952, the TCFWU started an active campaign to renew union activities. R.Sugathan, T.V. Thomas and K.K. Kunjan formed a sub-comittee. On November 16, a special meeting of the TCFWU was held and it turned out to be a kind of annual convention.

2.7 Union movement in Kollam

Though the trade union movement in Travancore had its origin at Alappuzha, it did not take much time to spread to other centres in the State. Industrial development in early Travancore was located in Alappuzha and Kollam and so was the trade union movement. The early growth of the trade union movement in Kollam is also largely obscure as in Alappuzha. There is reason to believe that the movement as well as the leaders in Alappuzha largely influenced the movement in Kollam.

Harrison and Crossfield (H & C) was one of the first companies that started workshops and factories in Kollam. Later, Goodacre and Company care Company also set up factories. In fact, Cashew factories for which Kollam is renowned came to be established at a later stage only. Punalur, near Kollam, saw the establishment of a Paper Mill. Neendakara and Chavara in Kollam district emerged as centres for mining and procesing of ilminite from beach sands.

“The H.&C Workshop  in Kollam saw a spontaneous strike by its workers as early as 1915, when their demand for distribution of rice by the factory management as a protection from the rise in prices as well as shortages was over looked by the management”[15].

They also demanded an increase in  wages. As the management did not take a sympathetic stand, the strike bacame inevitable. This was perhaps one of the earliest collective actions by the working class in the country.

“A Labour Conference was held during the first anniversary of the Kollam Taluk Labour Union at the Cantonment Maidan in 1929 under the presidentship of A.B.Saleas, an MLC of Kochi. Besides workers, some employers, traders, police officials and correspondents of newspapers like ‘Madras Mail’, ‘Manorama’, ‘Prathidinam’, ‘Samadarshi’ and ‘Malayali’ attended this conference. The Labour Union President K.G. Shankar delivered the welcome speech. The conference expressed serious concern about the anti-labour policies of H & C and Thomas Stephen Company managements. It appealed to the members of the state legislature and lawmakers to see that working hours were limited to 8 hours per day and working days to five in a week. It also sought representation for labour in legislature”[16].

During the First World War, Kollam also began to feel its impact. It was during this period that the workers of the Goodacre Company went on a strike. K.G. Shanker, the Gandhian, guided this. Management and Police colluded to break the strike. Workers were charge sheeted for criminal trespass and manhandling of managers. Many were arrested and beaten up in police lock-ups. Finally the management succeeded in forcing the workers to call off the strike.

“There was a strike at Harrison Crossfields (H & C) Company’s tile factory. It was reported that the management there did not even allow the workers to cook Kanji (rice gruel) in the factory premises. One day, the British manager destroyed the vessels used for cooking the ‘Kanji’, accusing the workers that they had stolen the firewood from the factory”[17].

Later he agreed to allot some space in the factory premises for preparation of ‘Kanji’ but that was found to be very close to the open pit latrine. Workers appealed that they should be given at least 10 minutes to drink the ‘Kanji’ during lunchtime as the company had not so far provided any lunch interval. Even this appeal was turned down. Following this, the workers were forced to register a collective protest. But there was no forum like a trade union to help the workers.

2.8 Unions In Cashew Industry

The conditions in the cashew nut factories were inhuman and deplorable, the work commencing at 5.30 a.m. forcing the workers mostly women, to leave their homes at 3 a m. Most of the cashew factory workers were from Scheduled Castes. Women workers used to carry babies and small children when they went to work and kept the babies on their lap or laid them on a gunnysack nearby during work. The unhygienic conditions of the factories and exposure to cashew shell oil and fumes made many sick.   The wages were based on ‘piece rates’, which varied according to the output of whole and unbroken kernels. No wages were paid for broken kernels. Workers were cheated by false weighing of output and low wages. The peeling and passing sections employed mostly Ezhavas. Toilet facilities, washing facilities, and drinking water were not made available in the factories. Several unauthorized deductions, some compulsory, were made from the wages. One was for meeting “water charges” even when no water was supplied. Another was the deduction of one chakrom (1/28th of a Travancore Rupee) as subscription to chitty (saving) with the promise that it would be returned during Onam festival. The worker would forfeit this amount if he ever tried to seek employment in another factory.

K.C. Govindan and his associates made 10,000 copies of a printed leaflet for distribution to the workers in the cashew factories. The leaflet had laid down the worker’s main demands like provision of toilet facilities, baby creches, job security, ban on force chitty collection, abolition of water charge collection, abolition of unremunerated work, ban on employment of children below the age of 14, shifting of commencement of work to 8 am, payment of wages for broken kernels too, maternity leave free provision of fresh water and increase in wages.

The Trade Union Bill proposed to be presented to the Travancore Legislature had provided for the registration of industry-wise unions. Thangal Kunju Musaliar who owned a large number of cashew nut processing factories took cue from this and formed the All Travancore Cashew Workers Union in 1940. Though some workers joined this Union, they did not fall into Musaliar’s trap.  They held meetings and elected P.N.Krishna Pillai as President. The Kollam Labour Union supported the formation and development of a separate trade union of cashew factory workers. Gradually within a few years, the trade union came under the control of Communists. Once the Kollam Labour Union got registration and became Kollam Factory Worker’s Union, the struggle for control became heated, particularly between N.Sreekantan Nair, the central figure in the Kerala Socialist Party and the R.S.P, and M.N. GovindanNair of the Communist Party of India. By this time, the major trade unions in the Kollam area were the Navika Thozhilali Union, the Cashew Nut Worker’s Union, the Punalur Paper Mill Worker’s Union and the Timber Worker’s Union.

“Unfortunately, the Kollam Factory Worker’s Union had several ups and downs and after a short period the control of the union came into the hands of Gopala Pillai, the editor of the pro-Dewan Malayala Rajayam Daily. The Union got transformed from a “Revolutionary Union” to an ordinary “Compromise Union”. This came to the notice of P. Krishna Pillai and he deputed M.N. Govindan Nair to meet Gopala Pillai and request him to vacate his presidency in the Union.                     P. Krishna Pillai wanted N. Sreekantan Nair who was in jail at that time, to take over as the President of the Union.  Though Sreekantan Nair really wanted to become the President of the TCFWU, at Alappuzha, P.Krishna Pillai had already decided to put T.V. Thomas there and depute the former to Kollam. When P. Krishna Pillai was released from jail in March 1942, he decided to depute M.N. Govindan Nair to build up the Communist Party at Kollam and at the same time to popularise the Communist ideology among the working class.  During those days the activists of the State Congress, Youth League and the Communist Party actively worked together in the union movement”[18].

Following the 1942 invasion of Soviet Union by Hitler, the Communist Party took a controversial decision   to support Britain and oppose the Congress call for Quit India agitation against Britain. Sreekantan Nair and his group as well as a good number of leaders of the All Travancore Trade Union Council (ATTUC) expressed their protest against the stand taken by the Communists who were branded conspirators.

Sreekantan Nair established links with the Socialist Party and declared an open war against the Communists. It was in this background that the Communist Party decided to revive the All Travancore Cashew Workers’ Union. At that time, this Union had only just 15 members and the union office functioned at Ayathil Junction.  The debate following the failure of the strike of 1939 was serious and for the next three years, workers did not show any interest in the trade union. This enabled the employers to step up their brutal exploitation and repression.

2.9 Union Movement in Cochin

The working class in the Cochin State was mainly concentrated in Ernakulam and consisted of workers employed in the Petroleum (oil) installations belonging to Burma Shell and Standard Vacuum Companies, Cochin Port, Ferry Service, Coir Factories, Engineering Units, Electricity Supply Undertaking and Tata Oil Mill Company (TOMCO).   ln the 1940s the TOMCO alone employed 3000 workers. Thus Ernakulam (Kochi) became the hub of industrial and commercial activity and the heavy concentration of workers there provided inspiration for working class mobilization.

Though the Tata Oil Mill Company (TOMCO) started functioning in 1917, a trade union for its employees was formed only in 1939. As the formation of a trade union would only invite victimization and repression from the management and the government authorities, the pioneers decided to call their organization “Deenanivarana Sanghom” (Association for Redressal). They said that this body aimed at redressal of individual and social disadvantages through mutual help and cooperation. Behind it, there was the intention to mobilize the workers and instil in them a spirit of class-consciousness.

“A meeting was held under the president ship of V.K. Kutty Sahib on January 28, 1939 to pass the constitution and bye laws of the Sanghom and subsequently they secured registration from the Directorate of Industries, Government of Cochin. This organization, though not the first of its kind in Kerala, was reported to have inspired the formation of similar organizations of workers/employees in the other units of the Tata Oil Mill Company (TOMCO.) in other parts of India. Chowara Parameswaran, P.K. Deewar, M.I. Paul and M.K. Menon were the pioneers in the trade union movement in Kochi. The Kochi Praja Mandalam had also played a pioneering role in promoting the trade union movement there”[19].

“By late 1940s Aluva had emerged into a fast growing industrial town. It did not take much time for trade unions to appear there. In contrast to the working class in Alappuzha and Kollam centres, that in Aluva enjoyed a number of advantages. Firstly, most of them had their employment in entirely new and highly sophisticated industries using better technology like the Fertilizers And Chemicals, Travancore Limited (FACT) and the Indian Aluminium Company Limited. And they enjoyed relatively higher earnings. Secondly, they did not have to fear employment insecurity as the products they helped to produce had a steady and substantial market. Thirdly, the new class of workers, in contrast to those engaged in traditional industries like tiles, pottery and cashew in the same area, were more educated, technically trained and qualified or skilled. Besides ordinary workers, a large number of people with higher qualification were employed in these modern factories. As a result of these unique characteristics, trade unions were beneficial for both workers and staff and they operated on an entirely new line, which in later years came to be known as independent unionism”[20].

The basic philosophy of independent unionism that emerged in Aluva was twofold:

a.    Non-affiliation to any central trade union and non-involvement in politics, and

b.    one industry, one union.

In Aluva K.N. Gopala Pillai and S.C.S Menon, two veterans in the union movement, guided inependent unionism. While the former had retired from the field, the latter continued to be active after completing half a century of union work. An attempt was also made to organize an Aluva Trade Union Council. It initially checked the growing strength of the AITUC and pro-Communist trade unions in Aluva. But the council did not last long. In the early years, the Tata Oil Mill Worker’s Union had extended its support, but as years passed by, it became evident that the idea of independent unionism could no longer survive in the highly complex situation in the State politics in general, and among the politically conscious working class in the state in particular.

Kochi and Aluva constitute the centers of modern industries co-existing with some of the traditional industries. The Cochin region had witnessed several socio-political struggles on par with those of Travancore. During the anti-Communist and anti-trade union repression by Sir.C.P’s Government reached its peak, most of the leaders found shelter in Kochi. Even the Travancore State Congress had shifted their headquarters to Ernakulam for a short period fearing an onslaught by the Dewan. Kochi was also a common meeting place for leaders from Malabar, Cochin and Travancore. All these factors, directly or indirectly, had influenced popular mass movements and working class mobilization in the Cochin State.

2.10 Union Movement in Malabar

In the Malabar region, the oldest industrial centres were Feroke, Kozhikode, Kannur, Cheruvanoor, Payyannur and Papinissery and a number of trade unions were operating there in the early 1940s. The earliest among them were the Cheruvannoor Cotton Mill Worker’s Union, Kannur Aaron Mill Worker’s Union, Beedi and Cigar Workers Union and the unions at the Feroke Tile Factory, the Commonwealth Tile Factory and the Timber and Handlooms Units. In organizing some of these unions the late P.Krishna Pillai and A.K.Gopalan, the founding members of the Communist movement in the region, played a very significant role. These unions also had a chequered history of working class struggles, which in the early period, were conducted as a part of freedom struggle and the establishment of the Communist Party. Malabar had also witnessed, unlike Cochin and Travancore regions, revolutionary movements of small peasants, tenants, landless farm workers and school teachers. In fact, these movements to a large extent eclipsed or over shadowed the movements of industrial working class in Malabar.

Kozhikkode and Kannur were the major centers where industrial activity started emerging in 1870s. The Feroke Commonwealth Tile Factory owned by the Germans was a pioneer in this. After the First World War, the ownership of this enterprise got transferred to the British. According to some reports, Suryanarayana Rao and V.R. Narayana under the banner of Bharatha Seva Sangh organized some sort of trade union activity in Kozhikode, when they resisted several forms of inhuman treatment of workers. Retrenchment and dismissal were universal so that no worker dared to raise any objection to the managers. In the factories, during the working hours, workers were not allowed even to go to toilet. The Railway Strike of 1928 gave added inspiration to social activists to mobilize workers. According to N.C. Sekhar it was the Railway Strike of 1928 that brought a sense of unity and solidarity among the workers and it kindled urgency for mobilization. During 1930-31 new factories like Commonwealth Cotton Mills came into being, besides new factories at Olavakkode, Puthiyara and Thirunavaya. V.R. Narayanan mobilized the tile workers at Cheruvannur and Feroke. Some point out that Samuel Aaron who later became one of the big entrepreneurs and a Congress leader himself was involved in the trade union movement.

In the beginning A.K. Gopalan, P.Krishna Pillai, Krishnan Nair, Kunhiraman Nambiar, Gilbert Vaidyan, Choyikutty, Abdulla and others worked hard to form the Kozhikode Labour Union. Its members belonged to a variety of sectors, industries, and establishments like handloom, soap making, tailoring, tile, sawmills, and, cotton mills. A.K.G. had recorded in his autobiography (Ente Jeevithakatha) that he learnt the first lessons of Marxism during his close interaction with ordinary workers.

A.K. Gopalan’s autobiography gives a clear picture of the early trade unions in Malabar before 1935. At that time he was functioning as the Secretary of the Tile Workers’ Union. According to him, even before 1935, there were trade unions like Bidi Thozhilali Sanghom in Thalassery, Bidi Thozhilali Sanghom in Kannur, Thozhilali Union in  Kozhikode and also two other unions, namely, Handloom Company Thozhilali Union and Metal and Carpentry Worker’s Union.

2.11 All Kerala Trade Union Convention, 1935

By the middle of 1935 an important initiative was taken to bring the working classes in Travancore, Cochin and Malabar under a common platform and a unified central leadership, though these territories were under the jurisdiction of separate governments. In May 1935, the first All Kerala Trade Union Convention was held at Kozhikode. The second convention on similar lines was held in Thrissur in 1937 and the third was held at Kanjikukkuzhi in Alappuzha district on February 19, 1939.

“As a forerunner of these conventions, the Kozhikode convention was an epoch making one. It brought together the toiling classes to think about a central organization to fight injustice. The collective strikes by handloom workers of Kannur, tile workers of Cheruvannur, Feroke, Pinarayi, Ollur and Chalakkudy, coir factory workers of Alappuzha had inspired the leaders to consolidate the trade union movement. It was reported that thinking on these lines had emerged since the Railway Strike of 1928 and the response it generated among the working class in Travancore, Cochin and Malabar. By September 1931 a North Malabar Thozhilali Union had been formed”[21].

Following that in September 1932, the first conference of this Union was held at Azhikode under the presidentship of U. Gopala Menon. Handloom workers mainly attended this. It passed several resolutions incorporating urgent economic demands as well as political demands. In October 1933, the workers numbering 1500 conducted a strike. In January 1935 the workers protested against the shift to 5½ day schedule of work. They demanded an enhancement of wages by 10% for those working under contractors, and, reinstatement of ‘Manari’ whose services had been terminated. In March 1935 tile workers of Feroke and workers of Aaron Mill Company at Pappinissery struck work. Working class struggles were reported from Thrissur, Amballur Palluruthy and Alappuzha. It was in this background that the first All Kerala Convention of Trade Unions was held at Kozhikode.

2.12 Union Movement in the Plantations

In Travancore, plantation estates were established in around 1860 in the Veli Hills under the guidance and direction of Visakham Thirunal Maharaja and his Dewan (Chief Executive) Madhava Rao. In 1878 the Maharaja of Travancore had assigned 215 square mile territory from the land held by the Poonjar Edavaka (branch of royal family) in the Devicolam Taluk in the high ranges to one Sir Daniel Munro. In 1897 this estate came under the control of the Kannan Devan Hill Produce Company (KDHD Co.)

In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, plantations were set up in Wayanad too. The German Basel Mission had started some textile mills as well as tile factories in Kannur and Kozhikode. In 1857, the Cochin Chamber of Commerce was started as an association of British merchants and trading houses. The leading members of this Chamber were Aspinwall, Pierce Leslie, Volkart Brothers, William Goodacre, Parry and Company, Madura Company and Harrison and Crossfields. It was under their leadership that a large number of factories and plantations were set up in Kerala at different centres. This gave inspiration to the indigenous entrepreneurs to venture into other areas of industrial activities like printing presses, handlooms, oil mills, timber and saw mills, boat building, fishing etc. The ‘Pandarappatta Proclamation’ of 1865 had conferred full legal titles to tenants over land. In 1867 the Jenmi-Kudiyan (landlord tenant) Proclamation helped to create a unique rural bourgeoisie class. Soon forces of capitalism were emerging. Trading profit/ merchant capital was replaced by industrial capital. During this transition, economic surplus was invested extensively in the highlands of the State in starting plantations with crops like tea, coffee, cardamom and rubber. Small and big plantations emerged. Some were owned by British capitalists while the rest were under the control of the native capitalists. From day one, the plantations became notorious in their treatment of labour.  Following it, a saga of working class mobilization and struggles became inevitable. It was in this context that trade union movement in the plantations sector developed. The trade unions in the plantation sector had an eventful beginning and growth. As soon as the trade Union ESASI (Estate Staff Association South India) was formed the management dismissed the staff who joined the union.

The dismissals created terror in the minds of estate staff and many did not come forward to join the ESASI.  N. K. Christy,   honorary secretary of ESASI and his associates then thought that unless they enlisted the support of the planters, the association could not survive. Thus they approached C.L. Craig of Craigmore Estate, a prominent planter of Nilgiris and he agreed to be the first Chairman of the association. He did yeoman service to get the association establsihed. First the membership was limited to Nilgiris and Wayanad. V. Roses Paul took the association to the Anamalai. Christy made a tour of all esates inTravancore and recruited members from the estates in Mundakkayam, Peerumade, and Vandiperiyar areas.

The ESASI was originally confined to Nilgiris, Nilgiri Wayanad, Malabar Wayanad, and Anamalai areas. In 1934 a branch of the ESASI was formed in Nelliampathy in Chittur Taluk of Palakkad. The Peerumade branch was organized in 1935. It took another four years  before a branch could be organized in Vandiperiyar. Mundakkayam opened a branch of the ESASI in 1945 and Thenmalai  in 1951. Dr. P.H. Daniel became a member of the ESASI in 1941 and he was appointed as the Editor of the ESASI Bulletin in May 1944. The ESASI functioned till 1952, though the Estate Staff Union of South India (ESUSI) was registered under the Trade Union Act in 1947.

2.13 Politics and Independence of trade Unions

The trade union movement in Kerala has recently witnessed an interesting debate on the independence status of trade unions vis-a-vis the political parties. It is generally believed that the political parties in India as well as in Kerala usually nurse “their” trade unions. In other words, the public are made to believe that the trade unions are mere appendages of political parties but in reality the parties always treat the trade unions as feeder and supporting organizations. Thus the INTUC, is believed to be linked to the Congress, AITUC to the CPl, CITU to the CPI (M), BMS to the BJP /RSS, UTUC to the RSP, AICTU to the CMP, STU to the Muslim League and so on. As the political parties started splitting, causing the emergence of innumerable factions, the public got a confused picture about the trade unions and their link to political parties. Whether the link between the trade union and the political party was organic or not was also an issue in debate.

In the early 1950s itself, the trade union movement in Kerala started getting divided on political as well as petty political and ideological lines. Each political party tried to create a trade union wing of its own and treated it as a supporting force rather than allowing the union to function as an independent organization with the chief objective of serving the interests of the members of that organization. This often led to serious confrontation at times between those who were at the top of decision-making bodies of the political party and the trade union. The problem got complicated when there arose ego clash between the two sets of leaders. In the old day’s either political leaders or social activists formed the trade unions. In later years this changed when new cadres of trade union leaders arose from the ranks of the working class. Besides, there were a few well-known political leaders of yester years who decided to quit political party work and concentrate exclusively on trade union work. At the same time, there were a considerable number who grew up with the trade union work and later choosing the path of political work. In such cases, their long run aim was to use the trade union work and popularity as a stepping-stone to political leadership and then to important political office. For achieving these objectives, some caused vertical as well as horizontal splits in the parent organization be it the political party or the trade union.

The Communist Party of India split into CPI  and CPI(M) and, the Indian National Congress into the Congress (I), Congress(A) and Congress(S). The other political parties like the Kerala Congress, the Revolutionary Socialist Party and the Muslim League have also split in recent years. For instance, the Kerala Congress has at least six groups led by K.M. Mani, P.C George, R. Balakrishna Pillai, P.J. Joseph, P.C. Thomas and T.M. Jacob. Baby John and K. Pankajakshan lead the RSP groups. The Muslim League split created the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML). Following this split in the political parties the trade union centres supporting them also began to split to create the AITUC, CITU, INTUC (I), INTUC(A), INTUC (S), UTUC(B), UTUC (official) and so on. In some trade union centers like the Swathanthra Thozhilali Union (STU) though an open split had not emerged yet, factional groups have started operation. Besides, Kerala has also witnessed the proliferation of craft/category unions that caused further sub-division and fragmentation in the union movement.

With the emergence of accommodative and compromising strategy of coalition politics becoming the order of the day, two major groups, namely the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) have captured the centre of attraction. The Congress both (I) and (A) factions currently lead the UDF together while the CPI(M) calls the tune in the LDF. The inter-party and intra-party politics of the two groups and their constituent allies have made their impact on the unions under them, those supporting them and those friendly to them. In the course of last five decades, the number of trade unions has increased very rapidly. The number of registered trade unions in Travancore-Cochin in 1951-52 was 555. After the formation of the Kerala State, the number increased to 1213 in 1957-58. In 1991 the number of unions went up to reach 9264 and by 2000 it crossed the 11140 mark.

Unions were functioning in shops and commercial establishments, motor transport and light motor vehicles, construction work, fisheries, liquor trading and liquor vending, food processing, petrol pumps,  cooking gas (LPG) agencies, private hospitals, dispensaries, pharmacies, clinical laboratories, scanning centers, private educational institutions, security services, production of motion pictures and tele films, and hotels. There are trade unions even for mahouts engaged in handling and care of elephants, those who work as frog catchers, and, those engaged in collection of river sands. Indeed, the expansion of the tertiary/service sector in the State’s economy stimulated the growth of trade unions among employees in several informal and unorganised sector employments and most of such unions acquired the highest degree of aggressiveness and militancy. The traditional industries like coir, cashew, textiles, bidi and plantations, which had pioneered the union movement in the State and had functioned as active centers of trade union activity remained stagnant, while new centers emerged in the union movement. One of such strong centers has been the white-collar Government employees unions.

The bulk of trade unions in the State are affiliated to the Central Trade Unions like the INTUC, CITU, AITUC, HMS and the BMS. There are also several trade unions under various political parties.

2.14 Changing Character

Contemporary unionism is far different from what it was in the thirties or forties. There has emerged now a growing gap between the leadership and the rank and file. The spirit of evangelism, sacrifice and service that the older generation of leadership had shown has now been replaced by a measure of irresponsibility, disloyalty and petty graft of the younger generation. The political misadventures of a few leaders have further harmed the interests of steady union growth. There is also a moral degradation on the part of the working class. Respect for authority and conscious need for discipline are fast losing in importance. Class consciousness is not strong as it was in the earlier years. While the union leadership is engaged in direct negotiations with the employer, the so-called irresponsible elements among the workers launch direct action in defiance of the leadership. There are cases when workers join one union and later leave it in order to join another. There are also workers who pay the membership fee to more than one union and as a result the data on membership become unreliable. There is no unanimity on the issue of adopting secret ballot or verification for ascertaining member support for unions. There is opposition to the proposal for conducting referendum based on secret ballot for fear of losing representative character of the union.

The union members are reluctant to attend union meetings and participate in its deliberations. They are more concerned about maximizing their economic gains. This has encouraged multiplicity of unions, aggravating inter-union rivalry and conflicts thereby bringing a bad name to labour relations in the state. There was a demand for a legislation to deal with the problem of union recognition either through secret ballot or membership verification. The Trade Union Act is found to be out of date in dealing with the new issues. But so far no attempt has been made by the Central Government to look into this matter, though it has already received the Report of the Second National Commission on Labour, headed by  Ravindra Varma. It is reported that this report is not unanimous and the BMS representative in the Commission has written a dissenting note to the Report. When the terms of reference for the Commission were finalised, the Union Government did not consult the central trade unions and most of them had boycotted the sittings of the Commission. The central trade unions including the INTUC, AlTUC, CITU, HMS, BMS, and others had expressed their fears about the possible fallouts of Liberalisation,  Privatisation and Globalisation on the Indian working class. They are deeply concerned about retrenchment, cuts in wages and benefits enjoyed by the working class for a long time and also restrictions on legitimate trade union rights. Hence, they have planned to form joint action councils and launch agitations against the Union Government’s New Economic Policy. The situation is not different in Kerala too. The very recent passage of a Bill in the second half of 2002 by the UDF Government on Head Load Labour has created a lot of debate and opposition even from the trade unions belonging to the ruling parties in the State.

2.15 Positive Aspects

Despite the political divisions, rivalries and other structural weaknesses, there exists a positive feature in the trade union movement in the State and it is considered somewhat unique when compared to the rest of India. On major issues in industrial relations, the trade unions, irrespective of their political affiliations, had come forward to form joint action councils and programmes. This is reflected even in the process of collective bargaining at the enterprise level. Here all the unions at the enterprise might sometimes file a joint Demand Notice, sit together and form joint bargaining committee to wrest a deal from the employer/ management. In such cases, it is difficult for the employers to drive one union against another when issues of common concern arise. There had been cases when enlightened managements had taken bold initiative to sign long term agreements and settlements with all the major and minor unions or workers in their enterprises.

2.16 REMARKS AND CONCLUSIONS

The Trade Union movements in Kerala because of their close nexus with politics and freedom movement acquired some unique and salient features.  The Trade Unions, irrespective of their affinity to different political parties were quite democratic.  They were not despotic or hierarchical in organizational and structural matters.  They produced a type of idealism, quite different from the materialistic and capital obsessed attitude of affluent middle class Karalites of today, which gained a lot of social, political and intellectual space in social debates among people of yesterdays.  The average Keralite of the mid twentieth century was better informed and had a sense of belonging to his fellow beings.  Because of the high percentage of literacy in the state, the members of the various trade unions became very conscious of their rights and privileges and also aware of the new philosophical ideas and different happenings in the world outside and therefore, nothing, in their opinion was impossible and unachievable.  Hence they set great aims and their demands also became very high which the managements and the government found difficult to satisfy and that finally led to the closure of many factories and industrial units in Kerala.  The spirit to unify and accomplish their long cherished aims manifested in every walk of life and spread to all activities of the people including the press which in course of time, paved the way for the formation of journalists’ associations in the state.

 

 



[1] Nair. Ramachandran K.The History of Trade Union Movements in Kerala. The Kerala Institute of Labour And Employment, Thiruvananthapuram (2006) p.599

[2] Menon Sreedhara A ‘Kerala and Freedom Struggle’ D C Books, Kottayam (1997) P.13

[3] Menon Sreedhara A ‘Kerala and Freedom Struggle’ D C Books, Kottayam (1997) P.26

[4] Nair. Ramachandran K. The History of Trade Union Movements in Kerala. The Kerala Institute of Labour And Employment, Thiruvananthapuram (2006) p.8

[5] Menon Sreedhara A ‘Kerala and Freedom Struggle’ D C Books, Kottayam (1997) P.26

[6] Menon Sreedhara A ‘Kerala and Freedom Struggle’ D C Books, Kottayam (1997) P.55

[7] Nair. Ramachandran K.The History of Trade Union Movements in Kerala. The Kerala Institute of Labor and Employment, Thiruvananthapuram (2006) p.12

[8] Goplan A.K, ‘Ente Jeevitha Katha’, Desabhimani Book stall Thiruvananthapuram (1995) p.61

[9] Menon Sreedhara A. ‘Kerala and Freedom Struggle’ D C Books, Kottayam (1997) P.55

[10] George K. Report of the board of conciliation of Trade disputes In the Mats and Matting Industry, Government of Travencore, Thiruvananthapuram. (1939)

[11] Nair. Ramachandran K. The History of Trade Union Movements in Kerala. The Kerala Institute of Labour And Employment, Thiruvananthapuram (2006) p.70

[12] Nair. Ramachandran K. The History of Trade Union Movements in Kerala. The Kerala Institute of Labour And Employment, Thiruvananthapuram (2006) p.70

[13] Govindan K.C, ‘Memories of an early Trade Unionist’, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram (1986) P-9-13.

[14] Nair. Ramachandran K. The History of Trade Union Movements in Kerala. The Kerala Institute of Labour And Employment, Thiruvananthapuram (2006) p.111

[15] ‘Kollathe Thozhilali Prasthanam 27 varshangalkku munpu, T.P Gopalalnte Drishtiyil’ (The Trade Union Movement in Kollam 27 years ago in the eyes of T.P Gopalan) Article in the RSP Golden Jubille Souvenier (1990) P.101

[16] Nair. Ramachandran K.The History of Trade Union Movements in Kerala. The Kerala Institute of Labour And Employment, Thiruvananthapuram (2006) p.148

[17] Govindan K.C, ‘Memories of an early Trade Unionist’, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram (1986) P-60.

[18]  Nair. Ramachandran K. The History of Trade Union Movements in Kerala. The Kerala Institute of Labour And Employment, Thiruvananthapuram (2006) p.154

[19] Nair.. Ramachandran K The History of Trade Union Movements in Kerala. The Kerala Institute of Labour And Employment, Thiruvananthapuram (2006) p.202

[20] Nair. Ramachandran K.The History of Trade Union Movements in Kerala. The Kerala Institute of Labour And Employment, Thiruvananthapuram (2006) p.117-118

[21] Damodaran K, Kerala’s Freesom Struggles (in Malayalam) P-69-71

 

Chapter-3

JOURNALISTS’ ASSOCIATIONS: HISTORY AND ACHIEVEMENTS

 

 “The formation of associations for journalists followed a sequence resulting from changes in the newspaper industry in each country and from the ensuing changes in journalists’ position within the work organization of newspapers, as well as from changes in the Social Standing of Journalists”[1]

 “The first generations of associations of the journalists were social in character.  They had no special vocational purpose.  It served mainly as a forum for mutual respect and gave the members an opportunity to discover each other, who worked where. The next generation of organizations had more vocational ends.  The main purpose was for negotiating for better wages and work conditions.

Journalists started to organize in the late nineteenth century.  Associations appeared at local, national, and international levels.  In Germany in the 1860s ad 1870s, in Scandinavia in the 1880s and 1890s.  In Great Britain the pioneering Newspaper Society had been already formed in 1836.  The National Association of Journalists, with more professional aims, came into being in 1884 and launched the Institute of Journalists, which received a Royal Charter as a professional organization in 1886”[2].

The American news workers began to organize in the 1890s and finally founded the Newspaper Guild in 1933, which eventually became effective for wage negotiations.

3.1 INDIAN SCENARIO

 “Press has played an effective and conclusive role in the country’s struggle for freedom right from the ninth decade of the nineteenth century. Quite often prominent freedom fighters founded newspapers as missionaries of people and equally often editors of newspapers took up leadership of the freedom movement”[3].

 “With the goal of independence being achieved at long last, the Indian Press seemed to have lost its moorings.  It was in a quandary[4].

At this juncture the stylistics of the Indian press began to get changed.  Commercialisation seemed to be dominant in all the aspects of Journalism.

 “At the individual level, among journalists economism is the counterpart of the Commercialisation that has overtaken the bulk of newspaper publishers.  The two trends have, between them, diminished the role of the press in spreading knowledge and awakening the social conscience.  In the early missionary phase of nationalist journalism, the wages and working conditions of journalists and other newspaper employees were, at best, modest.  They depended on the fortunes of the patriotic publisher who was also often editor.  By the 1930s, some nationalist newspapers began to do quite well: The Hindustan Times for instance.  Pothan Joseph as editor pressed for improvement of the emoluments of Journalists, arguing that the publisher should share the newspapers’ prosperity with those who made it possible.  The management offered an increase in salary to the editor.  Joseph, insisting that the entire journalist staff should be given a raise, walked out, accompanied by Edatata Narayanan, assistant editor”[5]

This incident can be considered as the first pressure tactics for the enhancement of the wages of the journalists in India.

 “Syed Abdullah Brelvi took the initiative to form the first association of journalists to secure improvement in wages and working conditions”[6]

“The Indian Federation of working journalists (IFWJ) was formed in 1950 as a trade union for the collective bargaining of the working journalists”[7].

“But much later, a split in the Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ) gave birth to another organization by name National Union of Journalists (India) started functioning in the style of the Indian Federation of working journalists”[8].

These two trade organizations began to hanker after privileges comparable to those of higher echelons of the bureaucracy.

The Government of India sponsored the working Journalists (conditions of service) Bill which was introduced in the parliament in 1955 and was passed in the same year.  This Act paved way for the establishment of wage boards, which has to submit their recommendations to the Government of India, in the case of working journalists and other news paper employees.

Before independence, Journalism was a ‘mission’ to Indian journalists.  The main object of the journalists on those days was to strengthen the freedom movement.  After independence, journalism turned into an industry.    Hence journalists were also enlisted as industrial workers. Their protection was ensured under the Industrial Dispute Act and later separate enactment was made by name” Working Journalists (conditions of service) Act, 1955.

3.2 THE INDIAN FEDERATION OF WORKING JOURNALISTS. (IFWJ)

The Indian Federation of working Journalists was formed on 28th October, 1950.  During the formation of the organization 83 delegates from 23 organisations participated.  The convention was held at constitution club at Curzon Road, New Delhi.  The delegates were housed in the constitution House where members of the Constituent Assembly were staying.  It was organized in the spirit of the constitution, in which not only Social justice, equality of status opportunity have been provided but also freedom of expression has been enshrined under the Fundamental Rights inscribed in it.

This organization did not depend upon any outsider to inaugurate it.  It got inaugurated by itself.  Rana Jang Bahadur Singh, at that time Editor of “Delhi Times of India”, was the Chairman of the Reception Committee and M. Chalapati Rao, Editor of National Herald was the President.

The tone of the Federation was laid in their speeches and these continued to be the guiding lines of the Indian Federation of working Journalists.  The Indian Federation of working Journalists had the twin ideals of maintenance of the higher standards of Journalism and its freedom and improving the conditions of those who are instinct for maintaining these conditions.  It was this spirit which encouraged opposite people like Rana Jang Bahadur Singh, K. Rama Rao, Mrinal Kanti Ghosh, S.P. Thyagarajan, A.C. Bali, and Banarasi Dass to continue under one banners.

Chalapati Rau and Chathurvedi were entrusted with seats of power and whatever they did was accepted by seniors with such a grace as not to be seen in any other sphere of public life so easily.

 “In fact the Indian Federation of working Journalists never became an organization as such, it became a brotherhood.  People of North and South not only mingled with each other easily, they became part and parcel of each other’s life, as members of one Single family[9]

This organization had given practical lessons of national unity to hundreds of its prominent Journalists who were holding sessions from one part of the country to another and who always acted as a nation and never thought in terms of States.  Therefore, the feelings of enmity against provinces against languages even if provoked by politicians, working in separate groups, did not move the members of the federation.

3.3 THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE INDIAN FEDERATION OF WORKING JOURNALISTS

1)    Because of the impetus given by the Indian Federation of the working Journalists, the press commission gave its massive report, and soon the Wage Board was set up.

2)    Indian Federation of working Journalists started its mission to get the ownership of the news papers diffused and delinked from business houses.

3)    Because of the intervention of the Indian Federation of working Journalists, management has no full right to terminate any employees service and do what ever they like, they cannot go unquestioned and unchallenged

4)    The salaries specially of those persons who are working either in small newspapers have improved a lot and men who never thought of Provident Fund or Gratuity are its beneficiaries now..

5)    There are many institutions like the Central and State Accreditation Committees, the Press Registrar, the Press Council which came into being because of the insistence by the Indian Federation of working Journalists, in spite of the opposition by other newspaper bodies like Indian and Eastern Newspapers Society, and leaders of the All India Newspapers’ Editors conference.

3.4 THE BEGINNING IN KERALA

The life of the journalists in Malayalam during the pre-independent period was brutally hazardous.  On one side, the government and the state machinery victimized journalists in different manners.  Along with this, the journalists were subjected to sheer penury.  Both these made the life of the journalists miserable to the core.  Those who wrote even a single line against the interests of the state would have to face fake-cases.  The police even made it their policy to charge such fake-cases against genuine journalists.

It was during such a period that the anti-imperialist agitation was getting geared up in India.  In Kerala; the State Congress was formed under the presidentship of Pattom Thanu Pillai.  At that time the state of Travancore was being ruled by Diwan Sir. C. P. Ramaswamy Iyer.                 Sir. C. P. Ramaswamy Iyer ordered to suppress the congress.  During the course of this action, the license of ‘Kerala Kaumudi’ daily was cancelled, since it carried unpleasant news items regarding the Diwan and his misrule.

On the night of September 9, 1938, the Police surrounded the office of the ‘Malayala Manorama’ daily and sealed the office.  The license of the paper also was cancelled as per the dictates of the Diwan.  In the same year, on September 13, Manorama began to be published from Kunnamkulam with the help of P. I. Ittooppu.  But this lasted only for a short period of nine months.

On February 17, 1942 a battalion of Australian soldiers came to Kochi.  These soldiers tried to molest some Kerala girls.  ‘Mathrubhoomi’ daily reported this heinous act of the soldiers.  But the government took action against Mathrubhoomi as something ‘undesirable’, and hence the Madras Government banned the publication of Mathrubhoomi.  But the government was forced to withdraw the ban after a week; following the strong protest and agitation from the people.  During this period agitations related to the freedom movement were getting stronger and stronger in different parts of the country.  And on August 9, 1942 great national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi were arrested.  On the same day, K. A. Damodara Menon, the Editor of Mathrubhoomi daily, also was arrested from his office.  This got great media attention.  It was Mathrubhoomi and its Editor K. A. Damodara Menon who were the first target of the Quit India movement.  Damodara Menon was arrested and jailed at 11.15 A.M from his office even without a warrant.  It was for the first time that an arrest and imprisonment took place in the British India. On the same day Kozhippurathu Madhava menon, who was one of the directors of Mathrubhoomi and who was the Municipal Chairman of Kozhikkode and K. Kelappan, the former Editor of Mathrubhoomi also got arrested and jailed charging the article 26 of Indian Defence Rule.

At this juncture, there came a demand from different corners that the journalists should have an organization to defend their cause.  It was Mathrubhoomi that came to the forefront with such a demand.  Followingly, a meeting was convened at the Mathrubhoomi office on 28th September, 1946.  K. A. Damodara Menon, presided over the meeting.  In the meeting,  a committee was elected K. A. Damodara Menon (President), Varghese Kalathil (Secretary), C. R. Kunjunni (Treasurer), T. R. Ramaswamy,                         K. Damodaran, A. K. Ezhuthachan, Abdul Khayyum (Committee members), were the office bearers.    This was actually the precursor of the trade union movement of journalists in Kerala.  Following was the decision of the meeting concerning the course of action of the journalist union.

 “We can form a strong organization if we could bring together and unite the reporters and members of the editorial staff of four dailies and weeklies, reporters of dailies outside the Malabar, the representatives of news agencies like Reueters, AP etc.  Those who have got an earnest desire in journalism also can join the organization. Only rupee one need to be paid towards the membership fee.[10]

Varghese Kalathil, the secretary of the newly formed journalist union, on 15th October 1946, wrote an article entitled “The need of a journalist union in Malabar.  In this article he describes the aims and goals of the journalist union like this:

“The labourers, the capitalists and the religious organizations always approach journalists for the redressal of their grievances.  But the journalists and the newspapers are actually subjected to a kind of slavery which is far higher than mere grievances.  The newspapers are denied the right to tell or publish news regarding what all things are happening in the society.  So it is high time that an organization is to be formed by bringing together journalists from editors to reporters, photographers and freelance journalists.  It is with such an appeal the then secretary of the journalist union in its infancy completes his statement”[11].

At present, journalism has become a very decent and honourable profession.  But it is to be remembered that there is much blood and tears of many of our forefathers who had dedicated their life for making journalism such a high flying profession.

3.5 EARLIER JOURNALISTS’ UNIONS IN KERALA

Before the unification, Kerala, was divided into three states; i.e., Travancore, Cochin and Malabar.  In these three states, there were some associations of Journalists, which were not in the form of trade unions.

3.5.1 Malabar

In Malabar the journalists under the leadership of V. M. Korath, Chowara Parameswaran, P. Ramanunny, K.C. Madhava Kurup, K.P.K. Pisharody, Theruvathu Raman, formed a friendship association of journalists.  It was for sharing of their day to day experiences with each other.  It also had the nature of a recreation club.

3.5.2 Travancore and Cochin

Journalists of Travaancore and Cochin (Thiru-Kochi) formed an association under the guidance of P. Viswambharan, N. Ramachandran, K.R. Ravi, P.C. Sukumaran Nair, V.P. Madhavan Nair, G. Neelambaran and G. Vemnugopal.

This Association paved the way for the birth of Thiru-Kochi Working Journalists union on 7th  December, 1950, in Ernakulam.

The formation meeting was held at the office of the ‘Deenabandhu  Daily’ which was  the  official  newspaper  of  Indian National  Congress.  The meeting was convened by Perunna K.N. Nair, Raman Pillai was elected as President and Perunna  K. N. Nair,  General Secretary.

An elaborate convention of journalists of Thiru-Kochi was held in Kottayam later it was renamed as Working Journalists Union.  It was then registered as a trade Union.

When Kerala was unified in 1956, Kerala Union of Working Journalists also took shape.  K. Karthikeyan of Kerala Kaumudi and P. Viswambharan of UNI were elected President and General Secretary respectively.        K.A. Ravi, V.P. Madhavan Nair, P.C. Sukumaran Nair, G. Neelambaran, N.N. Sathyavruthan, N.V. Pailee, Sukumaran Pottekkattu, V.M. Korath etc were some of the leaders of those days.

The 11th National Conference of the Indian Federation of Working Journalists was held at Thiruvananthapuram.  The then the Chief Minister Pattom Thanu Pillai, inaugurated the session.  The top leaders of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists were invited to the conference and they were too much inspired by the deliberations made by the national leaders of Indian Federation of Working Journalists.

Soon after district level formation of the union got momentum. The following district units were formed.

3.5.3 Kollam:- The very first leaders of Kollam unit of Kerala Union of Working Journalists  were  V. Lakshman,  Malayala  Rajyam  Gopala  Pillai, K.R. Ravi, N. Gopinathan Nair, R. Gopinathan Nair, Thengamam Balakrishnan,  Kambisseri Karunakaran, K. Govinda Pillai, Parakkod N.R. Kurup , Vaikom Chandrasekharan Nair, Ettumanoor Somanathan,  and K.S.Chandran.

3.5.4 Kottayam:-    The Kottayam Unit was heralded by K.M. Roy, Ramapuram Gopi, N. Chellappan Pillai, T.K.G. Nair, V.K. Bhargavan Nair, and Padmakumar.  They assembled regularly in a small room, which was given free of rent by  Anandamandiram Gopala Pillai.

3.5.5 Alappuzha:- N.V. Prabhu, K. Karthikeyan, T.V. Haridas. M.D.. Prakasam, P.N.G. Panicker, were the fore runners of the unit.

3.5.6 Kozhikodu:-  M.T. Divakaran, Malappuram Moosa, T. Venugopal gave staunch support to Kerala Union of Working Journalists through their unit.

3.5.7 Thrissur:  Varghese Mecheri, T.R. Nair, Nattika Damodaran and V. Balakrishnan were the stars of the unit.

3.5.8 Ernakulam:-             N.V. Pailee, N.N. Sathyavruthan, C.V. Pappachan,                 L. Subramanyam and K.R. Ravi, were the pioneers of the unit.

The union of working Journalists was in need of an office for their better functioning.  Money was the hurdle before them.   Hence, with the permission of the State Government, and under the leadership of Mr. G. Neelambaran, the Thiruvananthapuram unit conducted a lottery.  The unit was able to raise a handsome amount through the lottery. Using this amount, they started the construction of a five storied building including the office, conference hall, and dwelling places for the Journalists and their family.

Following this, other units also planned for the setting up of their own head quarters.

The Ernakulam unit approached the Governor Bhagavan Sahai, and sought permission for the construction of an office building.  They also sought the permission for conducting a lottery for this purpose.  Within six months, the Ernakulam unit was able to collect 3.5 Lakhs through lottery. They used half of this amount for the construction of the office building and the other half for purchase of land for the construction of houses for the journalists.

The foundation stone of the Press Club, Ernakulam was laid down by the then Governor Bhagavan Sahai, and the fully constructed Press Club was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

During this time, the activities of the other district units were coming down.  Hence the leaders planned for the revival of the union both at the districts and state level.

For this purpose a special meeting of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists was convened at Kollam.  K.R. Ravi was elected as State President and N. N. Sathyavruthan, as State Secretary. In Kollam V. Lakshmanan, Kottayam, K.M. Roy, Ramapuram Gopi, Alapuzha, N.V. Prabhu, K. Karthikeyan, in Kozhikodu M.T. Divakaran, Malappuram P. Moosa, T. Venugopal, in Trichur, Varghese Mechery, T.R. Nair, Nattika Damodaran, V. Balakrishnan in Kochi, N.V. Pailee, C.V. Pappachan, and N.N. Sathyavruthan were entrusted to co-ordinate the journalists and strengthen the union.

During this time, a non-journalists organization has also been formed  for the collective bargaining of the employees.  Hitherto, the working journalists union and Non-Journalists union joined hands with each other and pleaded for the welfare and better wages of the newspaper employees.

3.6 STRIKES LED BY KERALA UNION OF WORKING JOURNALISTS

3.6.1 Keralakaumudi

The ‘Kerala Kaumudi’ daily was started by K. Sukumaran.  The objective as declared by the founder was the emancipation of “Ezhava Community” from the racial backwardness and prejudices. K. Sukumaran was also a member of Ezhava Community. Though Sukumaran declared that Kerala Kaumudi daily was for the welfare of the Ezhava community, the daily was a proprietary concern of his own family.

“Inspite of the fact that it was a family business house of K. Sukumaran, the member of the Ezhava community  throughout the state embraced “Kerala Kaumudi” as their own news paper.  Hence, the daily had got wide circulation and influence.  Drastic development of the news paper circulation and the revenue from the  advertisement made the family members of K. Sukumaran wealthy. Within some years, “Kerala Kaumudi” became the third big newspaper of the state.  The financial growth of that family was only from this newspaper business.  As they amassed huge wealth from newspaper industry, they planned for the bifurcation of the business.  The family members of Kerala  Kaumudi’ started  13 new companies, which included Hotel business, Film industry, Financing, Electronic equipments, Travel Service etc.”[12]

All these bifurcation process of the business was on the expense of the ‘Kerala Kaumudi’.  But the management was ignoring the employees of ‘Kerala Kaumudi’ and they were purposefully denied better salary package or service conditions.  Moreover the management divided the ‘Kerala Kaumudi’ company into ‘The Kaumudi Press’, ‘Kaumudi Advertising’, ‘Kaumudi transport’ etc. They also tried to make a separate company by name ‘Kaumudi News Services’.  Such a way the assets of the master company, ie., Kerala Kaumudi, were diverted to various areas.

 “On the basis of wage Board’ recommendations, the emplpoyees of Kerala Kaumudi were given wages and Designations in 1965”[13]

 “Two Sub-editors were promoted as Assistant editors.  Other two were posted as Chief Sub-editors.  The editorial board contained only 10 persons and in the proof section only 4.  But among the country wide reporting staff, only two persons ie. P. Govinda Pillai of the Trivandrum city Office, and another reporter K. Vijaya Raghavan, were given the benefit of the wage Board”[14].

In the same time, four sons of the Managing Director, (at that time they were also the  Directors) were posted in Executive positions with huge salary.

In these circumstances, during 1975, the journalists of Kerala Kaumudi daily submitted a charter of demand to the management.

Their demands were

 

1)      “Introduce an ideal Staff Pattern

2)      Specify Standing Orders

3)      Introduce Service terms and conditions

4)      Provide Leave facility for the employees.

5)      Observe definite criteria in promotion.

6)      Do away with the practice of assigning night shifts regularly to the same employees.

7)      Do not reinstate retired hands.  They may be given adequate retirement benefits.

8)      Give district correspondents the status of staff correspondents.

9)      Stop illegal suspension and transfer of employees.

10)    Don’t take vindictive steps against the employees who point out        labour issues.

11)     Behave at the employees humanly who have given their blood and  life for the construction of the company.

12)     Stop the fund diversion

13)     Give participation to the employees in the functioning of the company.

14)   Do not violate the laws and limitations existing in the newspaper industry”.[15]

Seeing the charter of demands, the management became furious.  With a blaming quotation the management put it in the notice board., As  a challenge, the management posted a retired hand in a higher post.  Moreover, M.S. Mani, son of the chairman, company who was holding the post of Editor of Kalakaumudi was re-instated as Special Correspondent of the daily.  Such a way, he was holding two posts at the same time.

Further the management retaliated that management have authority to post, transfer, retrench, revert, suspend, promote and dismiss any employee at their will and pleasure.

G. Venugopal, Senior Sub Editor of the Kerala Kaumudi was the State President of Kerala Union of working Journalists. The Kerala Union of Working Journalists took up the matter and filed a petition before the State Labour Department.  There was no move from the labour department for three months.  The leaders brought the matter before the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister took initiative, and a conciliation effort was made by the labour department.   But the management was adamant. They didn’t participate in the conciliation talk.  After waiting for two hours the employees left the place.  After this incident, the labour department kept silence. This gave the management an added courage to take vindictive action against the union leaders and employees.

The management re-instated and posted Venadu Karunakaran and G. Govinda Pillai as News Editors, for a period of six months on contract after their superannuation and retirement.

The immediate victim of this action was the renounced novelist, and Chief Sub Editor, P.K. Balakrishnan.  He was expecting promotion after the retirement of his seniors.  Moreover K. Vijayaraghavan, the city reporter and a junior to him was promoted as Assistant Editor and posted above his head.  This was a revenge of the management against P.K. Balakrishnan, who was a pro-unionist.

Another revenge was against G. Yadukula Kumar, and P, Sankaran Nair, who were seniors in the desk.  P. Sivanandan, and S. Jayachandran Nair who were Sub Editors, and juniors to them were promoted and posted above them. Senior Sub Editor and the State President of Kerala Union of Working Journalists G. Venugopal was also humiliated by placing P. Sivanandan above him.

 

These actions of the management paved way for an open attack between management and the union.

 “The management argued that the district correspondents were not the regular employees of the company, and they were only agents.  Against this argument, Thankappan, very Senior Correspondent of Kerala Kaumudi at Kottayam filed a petition in ‘Kollam Labour Tribunal’, and the case was pending”[16].

The non journalists of Kerala Kaumudi were also dissatisfied.  They started an agitation against the management.  The management alleged that P.K.Balakrishnan, active leader of the union and G. Venugopal, President of the union were trying to rally the employees against the management.  The management also gave an advertisement in the daily in this regard tarnishing P.K.Balakrishnan and G. Venugopal.

“On May 10, 1976, a memo was given to P.K.Balakrishnan relinquishing his duties and responsibilities as Chief Sub Editor.  On 14th May, he was suspended from service”[17].

The show cause notice given to him contained the following points.

1)   “Several cases of disobedience from your part were reported to the management.

2)   You are not obliging to the superior officers’ orders and suggestions.  By doing so you are willfully avoiding the orders of the management.  Action against this is under the consideration of the management.

3)   It has come to the notice of the management that you are not discharging any duties from May 11th onwards.

4)   You are coming to the office very late and quitting the office very early.

5)   A petition against you has been given by S.Jayachandran Nair, alleging that you have scolded him publicly during working hours. 

6)   You are willfully avoiding important news items and because of it the daily is loosing its credibility among the readers.

7)   On the aforesaid Grounds you are suspended from service pending enquiry”[18].

So many literary persons, Journalist Union and other organizations, sent memorandum and telegrams to the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister demanding the withdrawal of the suspension of P.K. Balakrishnan.

 “After the Domestic Enquiry, P.K. Balakrishnan was dismissed from service.  But he filed petition in the Labour Court and later the court ordered for his re-instatement.   But he was not able to resume duty, since he was under superannuation”[19]

3.7 A REVERSE STATEMENT

P. K.  Balakrishnan, was the editor of ‘Dinaprabha’ daily which was published from Kozhikodu.  After leaving that daily, he approached the court, leveling allegations against the management.

So, the Founder Editor of Kerala Kaumudi, K. Sukumaran, popularly known as ‘Pathradhiper” was relectunt in taking P.K. Balakrishnan in the service of Kerala Kaumudi. But Sahodaran Ayyappan insisted ‘Pathradhipar’ to take him in Kerala Kaumudi.

“The salary package of Kerala Kaumudi was better than that of the wage board recommendations.  Hence there was no need of a strike for the wage hike.  But on the basis of the price index, the variable D.A., was calculated.  This resulted in nominal ups and downs in the salary of the employees, within every three months.  On one occasion, the price index was low.  The salary of the employees was less than that of the previous month.  The press workers abstained from receiving the salary and started a strike.  The journalists also took part.  It was the first strike in Kerala Kaumudi.  P.K. Balakrishnan was under probation.  He used to criticize the management publicly at the office.  He also gave support to the agitators.  By understanding this, Pathradhipar decided to dismiss him from service.  His marriage was fixed at that time.  Knowing all these facts N. Ramachandran, and Govinda Pillai, met Pathradhipar, several times and insisted for his continuance”[20].

Another prominent leader of the union, Perunna Thomas was working as the district correspondent at Ernakulam for a pretty long time.  But on the floor of the union, Thomas criticized the activities of the management.  As revenge, the management transferred him to Trivandrum; and posted in a strange employment.  Later G. Venugopal and two formen of the press were also suspended.

All these situations led the employees to a strike.

Even though it was the period of emergency, the employees went on strike. G. Venugopal, the President of the Union, was the leader of the strike. The employees made a “Samara Pandal”, in front of Kerala Kaumudi office and in which G. Venugopal and other leaders of the union performed strike.  It lasted for one week.

“K. Karunakaran, the then the Home Minister of Kerala, prevented the police from arresting the agitators.  Ultimately the strike was withdrawn, on the basis of conciliation talks.  But some of the employees, including G. Venugopal were sent out of the service.  G., Venugopal approached the labour court and on final verdict, he was eligible for compensation”[21]

 

3.8 STRIKES IN MATHRUBHOOMI

3.8.1 Bonus Strike

In, September, 1978 during the Onam Festival, the employees of ‘Mathrubhoomi’ daily were forced to strike.  The management offered 11% bonus, but the employees demanded for 20%.  The employees of Mathrubhumi assembled in Asoka theatre in Ernakulam to think about   further steps against the  management.   Interestingly nobody among the employees was ready to chair the meeting.    P. Rajan, Senior Journalist came forward and occupied the chair. The conference re-iterated the demand for 20% bonus.

P. Rajan was also elected as the convenor and T. Venugopalan was elected as Secretary.  N.N. Sathyavruthan also took part.

The strike lasted for 15 days.  The management declared ‘Dies Non’. (No work, No wage).  The management opined that the Mathrubhoomy Company was on profit for the last year and so the management declared 11% bonus.  But during the current year, the company was on loss, and because of that an enhancement in the bonus rate was impossible.

The Employees’ Confederation (Journalists and Non Journalists of Mathrubhoomi) was not ready to accept any amount less than 20%.  So many phases of discussions between the management and the union took place.  At last the management agreed to pay 18% Bonus.

This was a prestigious victory as enshrined by the Mathrubhoomi employees’ confederation.

3.9 SECOND STRIKE IN MATHRUBHOOMI

On 8th October, 1979 the employees of Mathrubhoomi went on a sudden strike.  This was the second strike that took place in Mathrubhoomi daily.

The main reason for this strike was the disparity in the wage hike.  Only a dozen of employees were given 100% wage hike, and salary revision.  The other employees were exempted from giving increment or incentive.  This was against the prevailing code and conduct stipulated by the management.

The Employees’ Confederation demanded for a proportional wage hike to the exempted employees.

The management denied this demand and took vindictive steps against the leaders.  In the first stage the employees went on slowdown strike.  This resulted in delay in publishing the daily. The union brought the issue before the Labour Department.  The authorities summoned the representatives of the management and the union for a conciliation talk at Kochi.   The management suspended two employees.  On the very same day they got the notice.  In this situation the employees went on a sudden strike, on 8th October. The sudden strike was extended to Kozhikodu unit also.  On the morning of 11th October, the management declared “Lock Out”.

“It was a sudden action from the part of the management. Three employees were sleeping in the upper floor of the building, after their night duty.  Because of the trepidation, the management failed to bring them out side the building.  Later other employees sought the help of Fire Force, and by using big ladder the firemen entered the building and rescued the employees”[22].

After closing the company, the Managing Director went on a foreign trip.  After a few weeks the Managing Director came back. The Labour Department authorities contacted him several times for a conciliation talk, but he refused all the invitations.  All the efforts taken by the departmental authorities proved to be futile.

At last the representatives of the management and confederation met at Kochi and conducted a bi-party discussion directly and it paved way for a settlement.  On 4th December a settlement deed was signed by both the parties and the strike and ‘Lock Out’ were withdrawn.  This strike lasted for 58 days.

3.9.1 Settlement Agreement

1)   “Rs. 100/- as interim relief and Rs.10/- as special allowance will be given to every employee.

2)   Two employees who were suspended will be taken back; with out giving any punishment.

3)   Half month salary will be given to every employee on pay back term.

4)   All the pending cases against the employees will be withdrawn.

5)   No vindictive action will be taken by the management to any employees who took part in the strike.

6)   12% Bonus will be given for the next three years.  If the profit becomes higher, the percentage of bonus will also get increased accordingly.

7)   The Canteen facility problem shall be solved by one nominee from the employees’ side and the Managing Director.

8)   The part of the management in the Housing Society for the employees shall be decided by an officer appointed by the State Government.

Malappuram P. Moosa, who was the President of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists at that time, claimed that this was a historical success of the union”[23].

3.10 UNION TAKES DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST ITS MEMBERS

In connection with the historical strike lead by the Mathrubhoomi employees against the management, some members of the Kerala Working Journalists Union acted as ‘black legs’.  They were stabbing from the back side.  The Kerala Union of Working Journalists called for a mental support strike for one day on 26th November.  But some of the members of the Union did not comply with the call of the union. They also assembled together and blamed the employees on strike.  More over they distributed notices ridiculing the Mathrubhoomi employees, who were on strike.

“They acted as the weapon of the Mathrubhoomi Management.

The following members of the Union were given show cause notices by the General Secretary.  They were asked reasons for their non-expulsion from the Kerala Union of working journalists.

1)   P.C. Sukumaran Nair (Mathrubhoomi, Trivandrum)

2)   N. Chellappan Pillai (Mathrubhoomi, Kottayam)

3)   M.M. Varghese (Mathrubhoomi, Alapuzha)

4)   K. Janardanan Pillai (Mathrubhoomi, Kollam)

5)   V. Rajagopal (Mathrubhoomi, Kozhikodu)

6)   P.J. Kuryakose (State Vice President of the Union)

7)   P.G. Pillai (President, KUWJ Kottayam District)

8)   Elias P. Mani (Secretary, KUWJ Kottayam District)

9)   Madavana Balakrishna Pillai (State Committee Member, KUWJ)

10)K.P. Joseph (State Committee Member, KUWJ)

11)V.K. Bhargavan Nair (Nominee of the Union in the Press Academy)

12)Thomas Jacob (Nominee of the Union in the Press Academy)

13)Joy Sasthampadickal (Ex.Regional Secretary of the Union)

14)P.P Scaria (News Editor,Deepika, Trichur)

15)P.Damodaran (Treasurer, KUWJ Kozhikodu District Unit)

These fifteen members were asked to submit their reply in writing before 25th December, 1979.

Show Cause notices were also issued to the Kottayam District Committee of Confederation and district leader V.C. Kuryan (Kottayam) State Joint Secretary of the Confederation”[24].

3.11 LABOUR PROBLEM IN INDIAN EXPRESS

The tenth edition of English daily, ‘Indian Express’ started from Kochi, Kerala during the year 1974.  Ramnath Goenke was the Chairman of the company.  The circulation of the daily was 70,000 copies.  This was one of the profitable units of Indian Express.  Most of the employees of Indian Express were the members of the ‘Indian Express’ Employees union, which was functioning under the patronage of Kerala Union of Working Journalists.

After six years of its better functioning, some labour problem arose there.

“The Local Manager, A.P. Viswanathan transferred an employee, Gopinathan to Madurai unit. The employees union demanded for the withdrawal of the transfer order. They alleged that the transfer was unnecessary, prejudicial and the part of victimization. But the management insisted upon the transfer order.  They were not ready for a settlement. Further they started retaliatory action against the employees”[25].

“One interesting thing was that while A.P. Viswanathan was the bureau Chief of Indian express, he took a lead role for the formation of Indian Express Employees Union. It was the only union for the journalists and other newspaper employees in Indian Express.    This union was inaugurated by N.N. Sathyavruthan, the then General Secretary of Kerala Union of Working Journalists.  Then the Secretary of the Indian Express Employees union was Sebastian Paul who later on became Member of Parliament”[26].

“Gopinathan started a ‘dharna’ before the company, since he was denied the salary.  The dharna lasted for five months.  Five employees, who were the activists of the union was suspended.  They also joined hands with Gopinathan, and participated in the dharna,. The union General Secretary and five others were facing domestic enquiry on baseless allegations leveled by the management. The Joint Secretary of the Union was dismissed from service without further delay”[27].

Naturally the employees started up roar without ceasing the day to day work they expressed their protest.  But the management was not ready to change their attitude.

 “The union, submitted representation to the Labour Minister, Labour Secretary and Labour Commissioner, and demanded their intervention in the matter.  But the management was adamant and they threatened the employees by telling the ‘closure’ of the company”[28].

After frightening the employees with the sword of closure, the management started to form a new employees union.

By tempting a small group of employees, the management succeeded in the formation of a pocket organization.  Only 30 members were ready to join the rival union.  On the other side, 200 employees rallied behind the employees union.

 

3.12 THE DEMANDS OF MANAGEMENT

1)    “The Indian Express Company is passing through a highly critical situation, ever experienced in the history.

2)    Hence the management has decided for the closure of the company by 3rd January 1981

3)    In this circumstance, all the employees must relinquish their job.

4)    The employees are always creating problems and head-ache to the management. Hence the management is forced to take such a drastic step.

5)    The employees union is violating the labour contract.

6)    The management was planning for a Malayalam daily, as a part of expansion of the company.  But due to the labour problem the management is abstaining from materializing that decision.

3.13 THE CONTENTION OF THE EMPLOYEES UNION

1)    Relating to the transfer of the employees, the management agreed before the Labour Minister M.K. Raghavan, criterion shall be observed.  But the management never adhered to this.

2)    In April 1977 the Central Government recommended interim relief to the newspaper employees.  But the Indian Express Management never complied with this recommendation.

3)    Only after continuous havoc for two years made by the employees, the management was ready to construct a urinal, where more than 250 employees are working.

4)    The management purchased one Acre of land in the heart of Kochi city for a low price for the construction of the office building, from the Greater-Cochin Development Authority.

5)    When the Company was in good profit, the employees approached for higher bonus.  But the manager showed them the blue print of a multi-storied building which was to be constructed soon in Kaloor.  Seeing this, the employees thought that they will get a better future and ready they were ready to take the low bonus”[29].

“Ultimately the management declared ‘Lock Out’ of the Company”.  Most of the employees sought new asylums.  The Secretary of the Employees union, Sebastian Paul, the then Sub Editor of Indian Express, resorted to Advocate profession.  Gradually he entered into political life and became Member of Parliament”[30].

3.14 WELFARE ACTIVITIES OF KUWJ

“The Kerala Union of working Journalists had under taken so many welfare measures as a part of its Silver Jubilee Celebrations.  The beneficiaries are the journalists, non-journalists and their sympathizers.  Steps were taken to award scholarships on the basis of merit to the children of news paper employees. Trichur was the first unit to implement this project. The Trichur district unit of KUWJ is giving financial assistance to all children of its members for education.  A gold medal in memory of late editor of ‘Gomathy’ daily Raghavan Nair was also introduced, by the district unit.  This was awarded to a student, who achieved higher marks for Malayalam in the SSLC Examinations from the High Schools of Trichur City. The Alapuzha and Kozhikodu units had also awarded educational assistance and scholarships to the children of the members of KUWJ. Kerala Union of working journalists on State basis awarded 22 (Twenty Two) Jubilee memorial merit scholarships to the children of its members and to the children of non journalists”[31].

 

3.15 THE JOURNALISTS’ WELFARE TRUST

 “The Kerala Journalists Welfare Trust instituted by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists is the first of its kind in India.  The objectives of the Trust include providing Pension to widows of journalists who die in harness as well as giving financial assistance to Journalists who face contingencies such as loss of job.  A sum of Rs. 3000/- which is to be raised to Rs. 10,000/- within next five years would be given to journalists at the time of their retirement. The Kerala Union of working journalist’s members’ contribution of two days wages in a year, ten per cent of the income of Press Clubs and income from PATHRAPRAVARTHAKAN, the official organ of the Kerala Union of working Journalists’, would make up the funds for the Trust.[32]

 “ In pursuance of the resolution unanimously passed by the Executive Committee of the Kerala Union of working Journalists held at Moolamattom Circuit House, Idukki District, Kerala on 18th December, 1980.  The President, General Secretary and Treasurer of the Kerala Union of working Journalists and four members elected by the Executive Committee of the Kerala Union of working Journalists as Trustees declared themselves to constitute a Trust under Indian Trust Act for charitable and Public purposes”[33].

 “A sum of Rs. 5000/- (Rs. Five thousand) donated by the Kerala Union of Working Journalists was the ‘Trust Fund’. The Trust was registered in the Sub-Registrar Office at Ernakulam on 2nd March 1981.  An amount of Rs. 25,000/- was deposited in the Syndicate Bank, Branch Ernakulam, and opened the Trust account” [34].

“The Kerala Journalists’ Welfare Trust shall be for public and charitable purposes and shall inter-alia carry out the following objects.

1)      To strive for the betterment of the living conditions of the Journalists.

2)      To construct buildings for the office of the Trust and also to construct Hostels to provide lodging accommodation for touring members of the union, their guests and student journalists.

3)      To promote amenities for recreation and to provide scope for social and cultural activities among the working Journalists and their families.

4)      To build up and administer funds for provision of legal aid, unemployment, disablement., ailment, retirement, death benefits etc., of an allied nature to the working journalists.

5)      To provide training for journalists to improve the professional standards.

6)      To award merit  scholarships and scholarships for the poor  and prizes in educational and cultural fields mainly for the children and other dependents of the working journalists, irrespective of the fact whether they still continue in the profession or are retired or deceased.

7)      To undertake and to establish printing, publishing etc., and to start dailies, weeklies and other periodicals.  To improve the professional standards, to provide employment to working journalists and also for attainment of the objectives envisaged in the Trust Deed especially for the furtherance of the objects mentioned in 4 and 5 above.

8)      To engage in all legitimate activities as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the aforesaid objects.

9)      To create a fund for the furtherance of these objects by collecting donations and subscriptions from the Kerala Union of Working Journalists, and its members, from the Government, the Public and other private and public institutions.

10)    To  raise funds  for the furtherance of these objects by borrowing from Kerala Union of working Journalists, Government, Public or from the financial institutions.

11)    To advance loans for the betterment of the beneficiaries as well as the Kerala Union of working Journalists for the furtherances of the objects stated above”[35]

“The Trust was inaugurated on February 14, at Trichur by the then Kerala Chief Minister K. Karunakaran, who handed over Rs. 2000 (Rs. Two thousand) as the Trusts’ contribution to the widow of P.A. Sunny, a Journalist who died in an accident”[36].

3.16 PENSION FOR JOURNALISTS

For the first time in India, the Government of Kerala introduced a pension scheme for the Journalists.  Firstly it was designed for the poor journalists who retired after a long time service with low income, and without any retirement benefits.  Later this pension scheme was extended to all full time journalists and non-journalists of Kerala; for their rehabilitation.

“After several representations to the State Government by the Kerala Union of working Journalists, the Information and Home Minister of Kerala K. Karunakaran, introduced this scheme”[37].

The fund for this scheme was raised by conducting a ‘Film Award Night’ at Trichur.  A sum of Rs. 75,000/- (Rs. Seventy Five thousand) was allotted to this pension fund.  Total income from the Film Award Night was Rs. 6,79,390/- out of which Rs. 75,000/- was donated to this noble purpose by the Government.

By inaugurating the Pension Scheme for the Journalists at Ernakulam, the Information and Home Minister K. Karunakaran pointed out the following:-

“The Government of Kerala observed that it is the duty of the Govt. to help the poor journalists who used their ‘Pen’ for the liberation of the country.  For strengthening the independence movement, they suffered a lot.  I personally saw most of them are living in pathetic conditions; and it pained me.  I was looking for a scheme to rehabilitate such weaker and poor sections.  It was at this juncture, the leaders of Kerala Union of Working Journalists approached me with suggestions of this pension scheme.  In the first phase, there were some technical difficulties.  But the Government was able overcome those hurdles and now I am having immense pleasure for doing such a noble thing. Now we were able to contribute only Rs. 75,000/- to this fund.  But we are planning to raise the fund up to five lakhs through the contributions from the Newspaper managements and from the Journalists[38]

3.17. REMARKS AND CONCLUSIONS

‘Trade unionism among the Journalists’ in Kerala has a very brief history, its origin and development spanning over a period of just six decades.  It had a very humble beginning.  The trade union movements in other fields contributed greatly for the birth and growth of journalists’ associations.  Though the early journals were very closely associated with the Freedom Movement of the country the journalists did not get any impetus from it to form an association to bargain for a better pay and living conditions.  The press of the early period was treated very callously by the government and the people in power as it was solely managed by the freedom fighters.  Most of the journalists did not take journalism as a means of livelihood.  In fact ‘pen’ (writing) was a powerful weapon they used to fight against despotism oppression and myriad social evils and problems of those times.  In the period that followed Independence though idealistic people remained on the scene, journalism did not attract the elite group in society, for journalists were the most poorly paid employees.  Strikes by Kerala Union of Working Journalists at ‘Kerala Kaumudi’ and ‘Mathrubhoomi’ were epoch making ones.  The labour problems in The Indian Express gave an opportunity to the journalists to unify themselves and also to sacrifice some of their demands for the welfare of the organization and their own future benefits.  These strikes taught them valuable lessons in collective bargaining and made them aware of their strength if they stood together.  The Indian Express labour problem further asserted the strength of KUWJ and these problems and its aftermath finally led to the formation of the Kerala Journalists’ Welfare Trust which was the first of its kind in India.  Also the Union was able to persuade the government of Kerala to introduce a pension scheme for journalists.  Thus journalism in Kerala got itself elevated to a highly competitive and challenging profession and began to attract highly educated young men and women to its fold.

This difference between the old and the new generation of journalists was well manifested in their responses to the questionnaire.

 

 



[1] Hoyer Svennik, International Encyclopedia of Communication, Blackwell Publishing, Australia  (2008) P-2601

[2] Ibid P-2602

[3] Ahuja, B.N. History of Indian Press Growth of Newspapers in India, Surjeet Publications; Delhi (1988 )– P. 149.

[4] Kumar J. Keval: Mass Communication in India: Jaico Publishing House, Mumbai – (2001) P . 58.

[5] Muniruddin: History of Journalism, Anmol Publications Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi (2005). – P.226

[6] Ibid Page 226

[7] Ibid Page 227

[8] Ibid Page 227

[9] Chaturvedi, J.P. Pathrapravarthakan  Vol.I, issue 10, Thiruvananthapuram  (1975). P.8

 

 

[10] Jayaraj M, Pathra Pravarthakarkku Oru Sanghatana  (A Union for Journalists) Article published in Mathrubhoomi Weekly, Kozhikode (Jan 24th 2010) P.97

[11] Jayaraj M, Pathra Pravarthakarkku Oru Sanghadana  (A Union for Journalists) Article published in Mathrubhoomi Weekly, Kozhikode (Jan 24th 2010) P.97

[12]  Pathrapravarthakan –Kerala Kaumudiyil Enthu nadakkunnu (What Happens in Kerala Kaumudi)  Kerala Pathrapravarthaka Union, Thiruvananthapuram (7-6-1976) P-3

[13]  Pathrapravarthakan –Kerala Kaumudiyil Enthu nadakkunnu (What Happens in Kerala Kaumudi)  Kerala Pathrapravarthaka Union, Thiruvananthapuram (7-6-1976) P-3

[14] Pathrapravarthakan –Kerala Kaumudiyil Enthu nadakkunnu (What Happens in Kerala Kaumudi)  Kerala Pathrapravarthaka Union, Thiruvananthapuram (7-6-1976) P-3

[15] Pathrapravarthakan –Kerala Kaumudiyil Enthu nadakkunnu (What Happens in Kerala Kaumudi)  Kerala Pathrapravarthaka Union, Thiruvananthapuram (7-6-1976) P-3

[16]  Pathrapravarthakan –Kerala Kaumudiyil Enthu nadakkunnu (What Happens in Kerala Kaumudi)  Kerala Pathrapravarthaka Union, Thiruvananthapuram (7-6-1976) P-5

[17]  Pathrapravarthakan –Kerala Kaumudiyil Enthu nadakkunnu (What Happens in Kerala Kaumudi)  Kerala Pathrapravarthaka Union, Thiruvananthapuram (7-6-1976) P-6

[18] Ibid P-6

[19] Pathrapravarthakan –Kerala Kaumudiyil Enthu nadakkunnu (What Happens in Kerala Kaumudi)  Kerala Pathrapravarthaka Union, Thiruvananthapuram (7-6-1976) P-6

[20]  Pathrapravarthakan –Kerala Kaumudiyil Enthu nadakkunnu (What Happens in Kerala Kaumudi)  Kerala Pathrapravarthaka Union, Thiruvananthapuram (7-6-1976) P-20

[21]  Ramachandran N, G. Venugopal Smaraka G. Venugopal Smaraka Committee, Kawdiyar, Thiruvananthapuram, (2005) P-178

[22] Moosa. Malappuram P.,  Abhinandanangal, Kruthanjatha, (Congratulations, Thanks) Article. Pathrapravarthakan, Thiruvananthapuram Vol. No. IV Issue No. II 1980 January, P-7.

[23] Moosa. Malappuram P.,  Abhinandanangal, Kruthanjatha, (Congratulations, Thanks) Article. Pathrapravarthakan, Thiruvananthapuram Vol. No. IV Issue No. II 1980 January, P-7 & 8

[24] Secretary General, Sanghatana Karyangal, Pathrapravarthakan, Thiruvananthapuram Vol-4, Issue 2 (January 1980) P-13-14.

[25] Indian Expressile Thozhil Prasnam Enthu, Enthinu, Engine? (Statement of the Indian Express Employees Union) Pathrapravarthakan, Thiruvananthapuram (January 1980) P-15.

[26] Sathyavruthan N.N ‘Sanghatanakku Veerulla Trade Union Mugham’ (Vigour face of  Trade unionism of the Organisation) G. Venugopal Smaraka Committee, Kawdiyar, Thiruvananthapuram, (2005) P-161-162

[27] Indian Exprassile Thozhil PRASNAM Enthu, Enthinu, Engine? (Statement of the Indian Express Employees Union) Pathrapravarthakan, Page: 15

[28]    Ibid P-15

[29] Indian Exprassile Thozhil prasnam Enthu, Enthinu, Engine? (Statement of the Indian Express Employees Union) Pathrapravarthakan, Page: 16

[30] Sathyavruthan N.N ‘Sanghatanakku Veerulla Trade Union Mugham’ (Vigour face of  Trade unionism of the Organisation) G. Venugopal Smaraka Committee, Kawdiyar, Thiruvananthapuram, (2005) P-161

[31] Balakrishnan.P., Kshema Pravarthanangaliloode (Through welfare activities) Pathrapravarthakan, Onam Special, Thiruvananthapuram (1981) – Page 57, 58 & 59.

[32] Moosa. Malappuram P. ‘Pathrapravarthakarku Kshema Trust Enthu, Enthinu, Engana’ (The aims and objectives of the journalist’s welfare trust) Pathrapravarthakan Thiruvananthapuram  (Feb. 1982). P . 17

[33]  Ibid.  Page : 17

[34]  Moosa. Malappuram P. ‘Pathrapravarthakarku Kshema Trust Enthu, Enthinu, Engana’ (The aims and objectives of the journalist’s welfare trust) Pathrapravarthakan Thiruvananthapuram  (Feb. 1982). P.18

[35] Moosa Malappuram P. ‘Pathrapravarthakarku Kshema Trust Enthu, Enthinu, Engana’ (The aims and objectives of the journalist’s welfare trust) Pathrapravarthakan Thiruvananthapuram  (Feb. 1982). P.17

[36] Moosa Malappuram P. ‘Pathrapravarthakarku Kshema Trust Enthu, Enthinu, Engana’ (The aims and objectives of the journalist’s welfare trust) Pathrapravarthakan Thiruvananthapuram  (Feb. 1982). P.8

[37].Pension Padhathi Arambhichu (Pension Scheme Started) Pathrapravarthakan, Thiruvananthapuram,  (Jan – Feb. 1976)  P: 3

[38] Pension Padhathi Arambhichu (Pension Scheme Started) Pathrapravarthakan, Thiruvananthapuram,  (Jan – Feb. 1976)  P: 3

 

 

 

Chapter-4

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

 

The primary objective of this thesis is to study the trade union movement among working journalists in the state of Kerala. The research problem has been identified by reviewing the literature in the field, and from the researcher’s own experience.

The specific objectives of the study are:

  1. To make an overall assessment of trade unionism of working journalists in Kerala.
  2. To make an in-depth study of Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) and Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ).
  3. To analyze the aims and objectives of KUWJ and IFWJ and to find out how much these aims have been achieved.

4.1 DATA AND DATA ANALYSIS

The study is based on both primary and secondary data. Primary data is collected using a structured questionnaire method. Secondary data is collected from various published and unpublished reports and trade union documents.

Primary data collected using a schedule based on choice based and open ended questions. The collected data is analyzed using per centage analysis.

4.2 POPULATION AND SAMPLE

The population consists of 1600 Working Journalists in the state, who have membership in KUWJ. Among these, 500 samples is selected from three districts, Kottayam, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode using random sampling method. Lottery method is applied for selecting 500 journalists from the population.

The reasons for selecting Kottayam, Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode districts for survey and study are many:-

Kottayam district occupies a prominent place in Kerala. The journalistic activity in the district can be traced back to the middle of the last centuary. In 1848, ‘Jnananikshepam’ the first news paper was published from Kottayam. A publication of the CMS college, ‘Vidyasamgraham’ was started in 1864. Another news paper ‘Sandishtavadi’ by W.H Moor was started in 1867 from Kottayam. Later it was banned. Malayala Mithram’ started in 1878, remained in circulation for 12 years.

Nasrani Deepika’ was started in 1887 from Kottayam by the Carmelities of Mary Immaculates (CMI) Missionaries, which later became the ‘Deepika’.

Malayala Manorama’, the leading Malayalam daily was started at Kottayam in 1890 by K.C Mammen Mappilai,. The literary magazine ‘Bhasha Poshini’ was also started in 1892 from Kottayam.

Kottaym is the centre of news papers and periodicals. Eight major dailies ‘Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhoomi, Deepika, Mangalam, Kerala Kaumudi, Deshabhimani, Madhyamam, Janmabhoomi and Rashtra Deepika,  Flash, Mangalam Plus, evening dailies are being published from Kottayam.

Many periodicals published from Kottayam include Vanitha, The Week, Malayala Manorama weekly, Karshaka sree, Thozhil- veedhi, Balarama, Business Deepika, Carrier Deepika, Rashtra Deepika Cinema, Mangalam Weekly, Kanyaka, Cinema Mangalam, Arogya Mangalam, Balamangalam, Jyothisha Bhooshanam.  Because of this, a good number of journalists are located at Kottayam.

Thiruvananthapuram is the capital city of the state of Kerala. All the major dailies like ‘Malayala Manorama, Mathrubhoomi, Deepika, Mangalam, Kerala Kaumudi, The Hindu, Deshabhimani have their editions from Thiruvananthapuram.

More over ten medium and small news papers are also being published from Thiruvananthapuram.

Kozhikode district is in the northen part of Kerala, Mathrubhoomi daily started its publication in Kozhikode, ‘Malayala Manorama, Deepika, Mangalam, Kerala Kaumudi, Deshabhimani, Thejus, Siraj, Chandrika, daily have editions in Kozhikode.

Various income groups, educational groups, sex wise journalists are available for study in these districts. Hence the researcher has focused in these three districts.

Respondents’ Profile:

Table -1

 Age-wise Composition of Respondents

Age

Number

Percentage

20 – 30 Years

80

16.00

30 – 40 Years

176

35.20

40 – 50 Years

168

33.60

50 – 60 Years

68

13.60

60 and above

8

01.60

TOTAL

500

100.00

Fig: 1 Age-wise Composition of Respondents

Among the respondents who were administered the questionnaire, 16.00 per cent belonged to the age group of between 20 – 30 years, 35.20 percent, the largest belonged to the age group of 30 – 40 years, 33.60 per cent were of the age group 40 – 50 years, 13.6 per cent were of the age group of 50 – 60 years and a microscopic minority of 01.60 per cent was of 60 years and above.

Table-2

Sex-wise Composition of Respondents

Sex

Number

Percentage

Male

440

88.00

Female

60

12.00

Total

500

100.00

 

Among the respondents who responded 440 were men and 60 were women.  The percentages were 88.00 and 12.00 respectively.  Due to the composition of the journalistic fraternity, the number of men were more than women.  True, it was a distorted composition, but reflected the reality of print media scene in Kerala.

Table 3

Education-wise Classification of Respondents

Education

Number

Percentage

SSLC

08

1.60

Plus 2

32

6.40

Degree

92

18.40

Diploma

24

04.80

Post-graduation

236

47.20

Post-graduate Diploma

68

13.60

Ph.D

24

04.80

Other

16

03.20

Total

500

100.00

 

Fig: 2 Education-wise Classification of Respondents

In the education wise classification, the post-graduates with 47.20 per cent formed the majority, followed by degree holders (18.40%).  The post-graduate diploma holders were 13.60 percent, plus 2 educated 6.4 percent, diploma and Ph.D holders were 4.8 per cent each, others (3.2 percent) and the least educated group of SSLC had four persons with 1.6 percent.

Table-4

Income-wise Classification

Income

Number

Percentage

Below Rs. 1 Lakh

92

18.40

Rs. 1 – 2 Lakhs

216

43.20

Rs. 2 – 3 Lakhs

128

25.60

Rs. 3 – 4 Lakhs

28

05.60

Rs. 4 – 5 Lakhs

12

02.40

Rs. 5 – 6  Lakhs

04

0.80

Did not respond

20

      4.00
Total

500

   100.00

 

 

Fig: 4 Income-wise Classification

Among the respondents, those who earned between Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs per year formed the majority with 43.20 percent.  Those who earned between Rs. 2– 3 lakhs per year were the second highest group with 25.60 percent.  Strangely, those who earned below Rs. 1 Lakh were also good in number (18.40 percent). The percentage of the age group of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs was 5.60, those who did not respond was 4.0 percent, 2.40 per cent  of  those who earned Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs and between Rs. 5 – 6 lakhs (0.80) were the least percentages.  The non-response from a few journalists was intriguing and hindered the precise calculation of responses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 5

Classification of Journalists

Designation

Number

         Percentage
Reporters

216

43.20

Editorial Staff

284

56.80

Total

500

100.00

 

 

Fig: 4 Classification of Journalists

Of the respondents surveyed, 216 were reporters and 284 belonged to the editorial staff with percentages of 43.20 and 56.80 respectively.  Some of the respondents, on their own, chose not to respond to certain questions.  Since these were spread over, a separate column of ‘No response’ was incorporated in the tables and also these respondents could not be avoided, as they had answered other questions.

 

 

 

 

 

4.3 REMARKS AND CONCLUSIONS

The overall assessment of trade unions of the Working Journalists in Kerala was made on the basis of primary (structured questionnaire) and secondary data (published and unpublished documents and reports).  Out of the 1600 Working Journalists, five hundred journalists’ responses were collected from three districts (out of 14 districts).  State of Kerala was formed in 1956 by joining together the princely states of Cochin, Travancore and Malabar, a part of Madras Presidency.  The three districts, Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam and Kozhikode are the most prominent districts of the three erstwhile principalities and the survey thus assumes a very broad perceptive.  The survey reveals that 85% of the journalists are young, below fifty years of age and males dominate females to such an extent of 8.8:1.2 in the journalistic profession.  Though 70% of journalists are highly educated (Post Graduates and above), they are very poorly paid.  Even now journalistic profession is not a lucrative one.  As the Wage Board recommendations are implemented by a few managements only, a minority (below one percentage) gets a salary above five lakh and even that income is not a satisfactory one at present.

 

Chapter-5

DATA PRESENTATION AND INTERPRETATION

Part B of the questionnaire contained questions related to the wage board, trade union activities of journalists and other allied issues.

Table 6

Acceptance of Wage Board Recommendations

 

Number

Percentage

Accepted

428

85.60

Not accepted

64

12.80

Not responded

8

01.60

Total

 500

100.00

 

Nearly 85.60 per cent of the media persons in Kerala accepted the Wage board recommendations and want it to be implemented. Only 12.80 per cent are against it and 1.60 per cent of respondents are not sure of anything.

Table-7

Implementation of Wage Board Recommendations

 

Number

Percentage

Totally

268

53.60

Partially

216

43.20

No response

16

03.20

Total

500

100.00

 

of the total respondents surveyed, 53.60 per cent said that the recommendation of the wage board was totally implemented and 43.20 per cent opined that it was partial while 3.20 per cent were not sure of its implementation.

Table-8

Reasons for Non-Implementation          

Reason

Number

Percentage

1.  Does not have revenue

176

35.20

2.  Competition

12

02.40

3.  Heavy Investment

24

04.80

4.  Financial Loss

280

56.00

5. Does not have revenue and financial loss

04

0.80

6. Competition and financial  loss

04

0.80

Total

500

100.00

Fig:5 Reasons for Non-Implementation          

The reasons ascribed by the respondents were varied.  More than half of the respondents (56.00%) attributed it to the financial loss incurred by the newspapers.  The second largest majority of 36 per cent said the newspapers did not have the revenue to meet the commitment.  Heavy investment (04.80%) and competition were considered (02.40%) to be the other reasons.

Table-9

Opinion on Contract System of Employment

Opinion

Number

Percentage

Acceptable

140

28.00

Not acceptable

356

71.20

No response

04

0.80

Total

 500

100.00

 

A good majority of 71.20 per cent did not favour the prevailing system of contract employment. While 28.00 per cent favoured the contract system.

Table-10

ILL-Effects of the Contract System

Effects

Number

Percentage

1.  Affects job security

254

50.80

2.  Affects morale

52

10.40

3.  Breeds pressure of uncertainty

68

13.60

4.  Affects organizational loyalty

24

04.80

5.  Affects job security and morale

24

04.80

6. Affects job security and breeds pressure of  uncertainty

18

03.60

7.  Affects job security and organizational loyalty

06

01.20

8.     Affects job security, morale and breeds pressure of uncertainty

48

09.60

9. Affects job security, morale, breeds pressure of uncertainty and affects organizational loyalty

06

01.20

Total

500

100.00

 

Naturally many respondents felt that the contract system would affect their job security,.  The percentage of such respondents was 50.80.  Those who felt that it would breed the pressure of uncertainty were the second largest group with 13.60 percent, followed by the respondents who felt it affected the employees morale with 10.40 percent.  The respondents who averred that the contract system affected their job security, morale and would breed pressure of uncertainty stood at 9.60 percent. 04.80  per cent each said the system affects their organizational loyalty and also job security and morale.  Those who said it affect job security and breeds pressure of uncertainty formed 03.60 percent.  The number of people who said that it affected both organizational loyalty and job security was 01.20 percent.  Similar was the number of people who said that it affected everything from job security to organizational loyalty.

Table – 11

Merits of the Contract System

Merits

Number

Percentage

1.  Enhances competitiveness

78

15.60

2.  Improves quality

110

22.00

3.  Provides incentives

46

09.20

4.  Builds Corporate ethos

14

02.80

5.  Performance is recognized

46

09.20

6.  Introduces Professionalism

46

09.20

7.  Enhances competitiveness, improves quality

46

09.20

8.  Enhances competitiveness, provides incentives

14

02.80

9. Enhances competitiveness, improves quality, performance is recognized

14

02.80

10. Enhances competitiveness, provides incentives, performance is recognized

14

02.80

11.  Improves quality, performance is recognized, Introduces professionalism.

30

06.00

12. Enhances competitiveness, improves quality, performance is recognized, introduces professionalism

14

02.80

13.  No Opinion

28

05.60

Total

500

100.00

 

 

 

When the merits of the contract system prevailing in media organizations were enumerated, as much as 22.00 per cent of the respondents supported the contention that it would improve the quality of work. 15.60 per cent of the respondents voted for the contention that it would enhance competitiveness.  9.20 per cent each identified provision of incentives, recognition of performance, introduction of professionalism and enhancement of competitiveness and quality improvement.  Nearly 06.00 per cent of the respondents recognized a combination of three variables, i.e., quality improvement, recognition of performance and introduction of professionalism. 05.60 per cent of the respondents did not have any opinion to offer.

Fig: 6. Merits of the Contract System

Table- 12

Membership of Unions

Organisation

Number

Percentage

1.  IFWJ

56

11.20

2.  KUWJ

300

60.00

3.  Other

08

01.60

4.  Not a member

136

27.20

Total

500

100.00

Membership of working journalists union is also an issue these days.  Of the respondents contacted, 60.00 per cent of them were members of the Kerala Union of working journalists while 11.20 per cent were the members of the Indian Federation of working journalists.  Only 01.60 of them belonged to some other union.  However, a good number of them did not belong to any association, indicating their neutrality.

Table-13

Protective Power of Unions:

Protective Power

Number

Percentage

Can Protect

400

80.00

Cannot Protect

100

20.00

Total

500

100.00

 

The protective power of the unions is an important factor behind the membership of the unions.  The all India Federation and the Kerala Union, as could be seen from the previous table, have a good number of members among journalists of Kerala.  A substantial chunk of journalists believe in the protective ability of unions, almost 80.00 per cent of them.  Only 20.00 per cent of the respondents doubt their ability.

Table-14

Acceptance of Trade Union Tactics:

Response

Number

Percentage

Acceptable

296

59.20

Not acceptable

204

40.80

Total

500

100.00

 

Trade Union tactics adopted by the unions of journalists have generated heated debates on their ethicality, not only in India, but all over the world.  59.20 per cent of the respondent accepted the trade union tactics adopted by the journalists as fair and 40.80 per cent did not approve them.  The corporation of the media sector may be one of the reasons for a large number of them disapproving trade union tactics by media persons.

Table- 15

Reasonableness of Media Owners:

Response

Number

Percentage

Reasonable

256

51.20

Not reasonable

228

45.60

No opinion

16

03.20

Total

500

100.00

Fig: 7 Reasonableness of Media Owners

51.20 per cent of the respondents felt that the media owners were reasonable towards the demands of media persons, while a large number of respondents, to the tune of 45.60 per cent did not think so.  A minuscule percentage of 03.20 did not comment on the issue.

Table – 16

Acceptance of Collective Bargaining:

Response

Number

Percentage

Fundamental right

352

70.40

Not so

128

25.60

No comment

20

04.00

Total

500

100.00

A large section of media persons accepted that collective bargaining should become a fundamental right for them while 25.60 of respondents opposed it.  A small percentage of 04.00 could not offer any comment.

Table-17

Ethicality of Unionisation:

Response

Number

Percentage

Ethical

440

      88.00
Unethical

52

      10.40
No Comment

8

      01.60
Total

500

    100.00

 

The Unionisation of media persons was considered ethically perfect by 88.00 of the respondents and unethical by 10.04 per cent of them.  Only 01.60 of the respondents failed to give any answer to the question.  This clearly indicates the support of media persons for collective bargaining with their owners.

Table-18

Protest Against Employers

Response

Number

Percentage

Protested

144

28.80

Never

356

71.20

Total

500

       100.00

 

When asked whether they protested against the attitude of the employers, a great majority of 71.20 per cent replied in the negative.  A small percentage of 28.80 respondended in the affirmative.  It is an indication of corporatisation of media which does not encourage protests, but promotes profits one can easily discern the trend very easily.

Table-19

Justifiability of Demand for Higher Wages

        Response

Number

Percentage

Justifiable

188

37.60

Not justifiable

308

61.60

Can’t respond

04

00.80

Total

500

100.00

Fig: 8 Justifiability of Demand for Higher Wages

Of the total respondents, 61.60 per cent opined that it was not justifiable to seek higher wages when the media organization was facing a financial problem.  However, 37.60 per cent were in favour of demanding higher wages irrespective of financial position.  Only two respondents had the dilemma of choosing any of the options given.

Table – 20

Co-operation with Management

Response

Number

Percentage

Will co-operate

456

91.20

Will not co-operate

16

03.20

No response

28

05.60

Total

500

100.00

 

An overwhelming majority of respondents, 91.20 percent, affirmed that they would co-operate with the media owners in a situation of financial stringency.  While 05.60 per cent of them did not react to the question, a minute minority of 03.20 per cent said that they would not co-operate with the management.  One can easily discern the concern of the employees for the financial well-being of their media organizations.

Table – 21

Response as To Fudging Accounts  

Response

Number

Percentage

Do not fudge

228

45.60

Do fudge

196

39.20

Can’t Say

76

15.20

Total

500

100.00

45.60 per cent of the respondents vouched for the non-fudging  of accounts by the media organizations while 39.20 per cent suspected the fudging of the accounts by the owners.   As much as 15.20 per cent did not answer the question, for reasons best known to them.

Table – 22

Medium that Pays Better Wages to Its Employees

Medium

Number

Percentage

Print

336

67.20

Electronic

160

32.00

Not Sure

04

00.80

Total

500

100.00

Out of the 500 respondents surveyed, 67.20 per cent felt that the print medium paid better than electronic while 32.00 per cent were of the view that electronic media paid better to its employees than the print.  Only 00.80 per cent of the respondents were not sure of the better paying medium.

Table – 23

Better Paymaster – Private Vs Govt. Organisations

Response

Number

Percentage

Govt. Organisations

260

52.00

Private Organisations

232

46.40

Cannot Say

08

01.60

Total

500

100.00

52.00 Per cent of the total respondents consider the government organizations as better paymasters than private while 46.04 per cent favour private organizations.  Only four respondents do not respond to either as they cannot say anything.  In a controlled economy like ours, naturally the government holds the reins of economy of late, private organizations have started better payments to their employees than the government.

Table – 24

Advantage of Foreign Direct Investment in the Media Sector

Response

Number

Percentage

Better wages

300

60.00

Status quo

192

38.40

Can’t Say

08

01.60

Total

500

100.00

 

60.00 per cent of the respondents opined that they would get better wages if foreign direct investment is allowed in the media sector, than what they are getting now.  However, 38.40 per cent respondents said that the status quo would continue while 01.60 per cent of them could not say anything.  As we are aware, there was a debate on pros and cons of FDI in the media sector a few years ago and now we have a liberalized policy in the electronic media sector.

Fig: 8 Advantage of Foreign Direct Investment in the Media Sector

Table – 25

Activeness of the State Union of Journalists

Response

Number

Percentage

Very active

392

78.40

Not active

72

14.40

Can’t Say

36

07.20

Total

500

100.00

 

For 78.40 per cent of the respondents, the Kerala State Union of working Journalists appeared very active while 14.40 per cent thought otherwise.  As much as 07.20 per cent of the respondents were unable to answer the question.

Table – 26

Reasons for Inactivity of the Union

Response

Number

Percentage

Corporatisation of Media

28

38.88

Better Wages and facilities

28

38.88

Inter-media movement

12

16.68

Other

04

05.56

Total

72

100.00

 

Respondents who said that the union was inactive were divided between reasons of media corporatisation and better wages and facilities with 38.89 per cent each.  16.68 per cent ascribed it to inter-media movement.  Only 05.56 per cent of them had other reasons to offer.

Fig: 9 Reasons for Inactivity of the Union

Age-wise Classification of Responses:

Table – 27

Acceptance of Wage Board Recommendations

Age Group

Non-response

Acceptable

Not Acceptable

Total

20 – 30

04

5.0%

60

(75.00%)

16

(20.00%)

80

(100.00%)

30 – 40

152

(86.40%)

24

(13.60%)

176

(100.00%)

40 – 50

04

4.8%

140

(83.30%)

24

(14.30%)

168

(100.00%)

50 – 60

68

(100.00%)

68

(100.00%)

60 and above

08

(100.00%)

08

(100.00%)

Total

08

1.6%)

428

85.60%)

64

(12.80%)

500

(100.00%)

 

In the age-wise classification of responses, 100.00 per cent of respondents from the age groups of 50 – 60 years and 60 years and above favoured the acceptance of the wage board recommendations and their implementation. However, 20 per cent in the age group of 20- 30 years held the opposite view.

 

Table – 28

Level of Implementation of Wage Board Recommendations:

Age Group

Non-response

Totally

Partially

Total

20 – 30 Years

04

(50%)

28

(35.00%)

48

(60.00%)

80

(100.00%)

30 – 40 Years

12

6.8%

92

52.30%

72

(40.90%)

176

(100.00%)

40 – 50 Years

0

88

52.40%

80

47.60%

168

100.00%

50 – 60 Years

52

76.50%

16

23.50%

68

100.00

60 and above

0

08

100.00%

0

08

100.00%

Total

16

3.20%

268

53.60%

216

43.20%

500

(100.00%)

     Fig: 10 Level of Implementation of Wage Board Recommendations:

One hundred per cent of the employees of the age group of 60 years and above said that the wage board recommendations were totally implemented by their media organization.  The same view expressed by 76.50 per cent of the employees belonging to the age group of 50 – 60 years, 52.40 per cent of 40 – 50 years, 52.30 per cent of 30 – 40 years and 35.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years.  The age group of 20-30 years had 60.00 per cent of respondents, who said the recommendations were implemented partially followed by 40-.90 per cent of 30-40 years, 47.60 per cent of 40 – 50 years, and 23.50 per cent of 50 – 60 years.  The difference between the two groups was not even 10.00 percent, showing a thin divide of opinion as to the implementation of wage board recommendation.  Possibly, the younger ones felt that they were partially implemented.

Table – 29

Reasons for Non-Implementation

Age Group

Does not have revenue

Competition

Heavy investment

Financial loss

Does not have revenue, financial loss

Competition financial loss

Total

20 – 30 Years

40

50.00%

00

00

36

45.00%

04

05.00%

80

100.00%

30 – 40 Years

42

23.86%

12

6.82%

24

13.64%

98

55.68%

176

100.00%

40 – 50 Years

60

35.72%

104

61.90%

04

2.39%

168

100.00%

50 – 60 Years

34

50.00%

34

50.00%

68

100.00%

60 Years and above

08

100.00%

08

100.00%

Total

176

35.20%

12

02.40%

24

04.80%

280

56.00%

04

0.80%

04

0.80%

500

100.00%

 

As regards the non-implementation of wage board recommendations, 100.00 per cent respondents belonging  to the age group  of  60 years above ascribed it to the financial loss,  followed by 50.00 per cent of the 50 – 60 years group, 61.90 per cent of 40-50 years, 55.68 per cent of 30-40 years and 45.00 per cent of 20-30 years.  50.00 per cent of 50-60 years, 50.00 per cent of 20-30 years and 35.72 per cent of 40-50 years attributed it to paucity of revenue.  23.86 per cent of 40-50 years also held the same view.  13.64 per cent of 30-40 years said the factor of heavy investment was responsible for it.

Table – 30

Acceptance of Contract System

Age Group

No Response

Acceptance

Non-Acceptance

Total

20 – 30 Years

04

05.00%

12

15.00%

64

80.00%

80

100.00%

30 – 40 Years

44

25.00%

132

75.00%

176

100.00%

40 – 50 Years

56

33.33%

112

66.67%

168

100.00%

50 – 60 Years

24

35.30%

44

64.70%

68

100.00%

60 years and above

04

50.00%

04

50.00%

08

100.00

Total

04

00.80%

140

28.00%

356

71.20%

500

100.00%

 

As far as the contract system of employment is concerned, 50.00% of the age group of 60 and above, 35.30 per cent of 50-60 years, 33.33 per cent of 40-50 years, 25.00% of 30-40 years and only 15.00 per cent of 20-30 years accepted the contract system, while 80.00 per cent of the group rejected it.  75.00 per cent of 30-40 years, 66.67 per cent of 40-50 years, 64.70 per cent of 50-60 years and 50-00 per cent of the age group of 60 years and above vehemently opposed the contract system, a fall out of corporatisation of the media world.  Only 05.00 per cent of the respondents belonging to the age group of 20-30 years declined to comment.

Table – 31

ILL – Effects of Contract System

Age Group

Not responded

Affects job Security

Affects morale

Breeds pressure of uncertainty

Affects organizational loyalty

Affects both job security and morale

20 – 30 Years

60

75.00%

00

12

15.00%

30 – 40 Years

100

56.82%

10

05.68%

30

17.05%

10

05.68%

06

03.41%

40 – 50 Years

70

41.67%

28

16.67%

24

14.28%

08

04.76%

12

07.14%

50 – 60 Years

24

35.29%

06

08.82%

02

02.94%

06

08.82%

06

08.82%

60 Years and above

08

100.00%

Total

254

50.80%

52

10.40%

68

13.60%

24

04.80%

24

04.80%

 

Affects job security and breeds pressure of uncertainty

Affects job security,

and organisational

loyalty

Affects job security, morale and breeds pressure of

uncertainty

Affects job security, breeds pressure of Uncertainty and affects organisational loyalty

Total

08

10.00%

80

06

03.41%

14

07.05%

176

06

03.57%

14

08.33%

06

03.57%

168

06

08.82%

06

08.82%

12

17.65%

68

08

18

03.60%

06

01.20%

48

09.60%

06

01.20%

500

100.00%

Out of the ill-effects of the contract system enumerated,  75.00 per cent of the  system enumerated, 75.00 per cent of the respondents from the age group of 20 – 30 years, 56.82 per cent from the age group of 30 – 40 years, 41.67% of 40 – 50 years and 35.29% per cent of 50 – 60 years were categorical in stating that it affects job security of the employees while 100.00 per cent of 60 years and  above  said that it would affect their morale, followed by 16.67 per cent of 40 – 50 years.  17.05 per cent of 30-40 years and 14.28 per cent of 40 – 50 years opined that it would breed pressure of uncertainty.  A .65 per cent of 50 – 60 years said it would affect job security, employee morale and breed pressure of uncertainty.

Table – 32

Merits of Contract System

Age Group

Enhances

Competitiveness

Improves Quality

Provides

Incentives

Builds

Corporate-

ethos

20 – 30 Years

00

16

20.00%

14

17.50%

30 – 40 Years

36

20.45%

48

27.27%

16

09.09%

40 – 50 Years

32

19.05%

32

19.05%

16

09.52%

14

08.33%

50 – 60 Years

10

14.70%

14

20.59%

60  Years and above

78

15.60%

110

22.00%

46

09.20%

14

02.80%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Performances recognized

Introduces

Professionalism

Enhances

Competitiveness,

Improves quality

Enhances

Competitiveness

Provides incentives

Enhances competitiveness,

Improves quality,

Performance is recognised

16

20.00%

14

17.50%

32

18.18%

16

09.09%

14

07.95%

14

08.33%

16

09.52%

14

20.59%

44.12%

46

09.20%

46

09.20%

46

09.20%

14

02.80%

14

02.80%

 

Enhances competitiveness

Provides incentives, performance is recognized

Improves quality, performance is recognized, introduces professionalism

Enhances competitiveness improves quality, performance is recognized, introduces professionalism

No opinion

Total

14

17.50%

06

07.50%

80

100.00%

14

07.95%

176

100.00%%

14

02

28

100.00%

8.33%

01.19%

16.66%

168

100.00%

68

100.00%

08

100.00%

08

100.00%

14

02.80%

30

06.00%

14

02.80%

28

05.60%

500

100.00%

Table 32 describes the various responses as to the merits of the contract system.  20.45 per cent of 30 – 40 years, 19.05 per cent of 40-50 years and 14.70 per cent of 50-60 years said it would enhance competitiveness.  Among respondents of 20 – 30 years and 60 years and above none subscribed to this view.  20.00 per cent of 20-30 years, 27.27 per cent of 30– 40 years, 19.05 per cent of 40 – 50 years and  20.59 per cent of 50 – 60 years contended that it would improve the quality of performance while 17.50 per cent of 20 – 30  years, 09.09 per cent of 30 – 40 years and  09.52 agreed that it would provide incentives.  Only one category of 40 – 50 years, to the tune of 08.33 per cent opined that it would build corporate ethos.  18.18 per cent of 30 – 40 years and 20.59 per cent of 50 – 60 years thought that performance would be recognized.  Introduction of professionalism was the theme of 20.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years, 09.09 per cent of 30 – 40 years and 08.33 per cent of 40 – 50 years.  44.12 per cent of 50 – 60 years said that it would enhance competitiveness and improve performance quality.  100.00 per cent of 60 years and above said it would enhance competitiveness, improve quality, performance would be recognized and would introduce professionalism.  It is interesting to note that 16.66 per cent of 40 – 50 years did not offer any comment on this.

Table – 33

Membership of Union

Age Group IFWJ KUWJ

Other

Not a Member Total

20 – 30 Years

04

05.00%

28

35.00%

32

40.00%

80

100.00%

30-40 Years

08

04.50%

120

68.20%

48

27.30%

176

100.00%

40-50Years

24

14.30%

112

66.60%

08

04.80%

24

14.30%

168

50-60 Years

20

29.40%

40

58.80%

08

11.80%

68

100.00%

60 Years and above

08

100.00%

08

100.00%

Total

56

11.20%

300

60.00%

08

01.60%

120

27.20%

500

100.00%

Fig: 11 Membership of Union

40.00 per cent of the 20 – 30 years were not a member of any union.  However, the largest group was of 60 years and above with 100.00 per cent 68.20 per cent of 30-40 years, 66.60 per cent of 40-50 years, 58.80 per cent of 50-60 years and 35.00 per cent of 20-30 years were members of the Kerala Union of working journalists.  29.40 per cent of 50-60 years and 14.30 per cent of were members of the Indian Federation of working Journalists.  We see just 04.80 per cent of 40-50 years being the members of other unions.  The table shows that respondents belonging to 20-30 years of age group do not have faith in any of the unions in existence.  Possibly, they are part of the new generation being introduced to the corporate world.

Table–34

Unions Protecting Interests of Working Journalists

Age Group

Can Protect

Cannot

Total

20-30 Years

68

85.00%

12

15.00%

80

100.00%

30-40 Years

132

75.00%

44

25.00%

176

100.00%

40-50 Years

132

78.60%

36

21.40%

168

100.00%

50-60 Years

60

88.20%

08

11.80%

68

100.00%

60 Years and above

08

100.00%

08

100.00%

Total

400

80.00%

100

20.00%

500

100.00%

One hundred per cent of 60 years and above, 88.20 per cent of 50-60 years, 85.00 per cent of 20-30 years, 78.60 per cent of 40-50 years, and 75.00 per cent of 30-40 years believe in the protective power of the unions.  The country view was expressed by 25.00 per cent of 30-40 years, 21.40 per cent of 40-50 years and 15.00 per cent of 20-30 years.

Table – 35

Acceptance of Trade Union Tactics

Age Group

Acceptable

Not acceptable

Total

20-30 Years

48

60.00%

32

40.00%

80

30-40 Years

116

65.90%

60

34.10%

176

40-50 Years

88

52.39%

80

47.61%

168

50-60 Years

36

52.90%

32

11.80%

68

60 Years and above

08

100.00%

08

Total

296

59.20%

204

40.80%

500

100.00%

Fig: 13 Acceptance of Trade Union Tactics

Among the respondents of the survey, 60.00 per cent of 20-30 years, 65-90 per cent of 30-40 years, 52.39 per cent of 50-60 years and 52.90 per cent of 50 years and one hundred per cent of 60 years and above accepted trade union tactics by journalists.  40.00 per cent of 20-30 years, 34.10 per cent of 30-40 years and 47.61 per cent of 40-50 years disfavored them.

Table – 36

Reasonableness of media owners:

Age Group

Reasonable

Not Reasonable

No response

Total

20-30 Years

44

55.00%

32

40.00%

04

05.00%

80

100.00%

30-40 Years

96

54.50%

76

43.20%

04

2.30%

176

100.00%

40-50 Years

64

38.10%

96

57.10%

08

4.80%

168

100.00%

50-60 Years

44

64.70%

24

35.30%

68

100.00%

60 Years and above

08

100.00%

08

100.00%

Total

256

51.20%

228

45.60%

16

03.20%

500

100.00%

55.00 per cent of 20-30 years, 54.50 per cent of 30 – 40 years, 38.10% of 40-50 years, 64.70 per cent of 50-60 years and 100.00 per cent of 60 years and above think that media owners are reasonable towards the demands of their employees while 40.00 per cent of 20-30 years, 43.20 per cent of 30-40 years, 57.10 per cent of 40-50 years and 35.30 per cent of 50-60 years feel otherwise.

Table – 37

Acceptance of Collective Bargaining:

Age Group

Fundamental right

Not  so

No Response

Total

20-30 Years

48

60.00%

24

30.00%

08

10.00%

80

30-40 Years

132

75.00%

36

20.50%

08

04.50%

176

40-50 Years

124

73.80%

40

23.80%

04

02.40%

168

50-60 Years

44

64.70%

24

35.30%

68

60 years and above

04

50-.00%

04

50.00%

08

Total

352

70.40%

128

25.60%

20

04.00%

500

100.00%

Fig: 14 Acceptance of Collective Bargaining:

Collective bargaining was considered a fundamental right by 60.00 per cent of 20-30 years, 75.00 per cent of 30-40 years, 73.80 per cent of 40-50 years, 64.70 per cent of 50-60 years and 50.00 per cent of 60 years and above.  30.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years, 20.50 per cent of 30-40 years, 23.80 per cent of 40-50 years, 35-30 per cent of 50-60 years and 50.00 per cent of 60 years and above did not subscribe to this view.  10.00 per cent  of 20-30 years, 04.50 per cent of 30-40 years and 02.40 per cent of 40-50 years refrained from giving any opinion.

Table 38:

Ethicality of Unionisation

Age Group

Ethical

Unethical

No Response

Total

20 – 30 years

72

90.00%

04

05.00%

04

05.00%

80

30 – 40 Years

160

90.90%

16

09.10%

176

40 – 50 Years

144

85.70

20

11.90%

04

02.40%

168

50 – 60 Years

56

82.40%

12

17.60%

68

60 Years and above

08

100.00%

08

Total

440

88.00%

52

10.40%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

90.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years, 90.90 per cent of 30 – 40 years, 85.70 per cent of 40 – 50 years, 82.40 per cent of 50 – 60 years and 100.00 per cent of 60 years and above have termed unionization of journalists as ethical only a small minority has considered it unethical while only 01.60 per cent did not offer any view.

Table – 39

Protest Against Employers

Age Group

Protested

Never

Total

20 – 30 Years

12

15.00%

68

85.00%

80

30 – 40 Years

60

34.10%

116

65.90%

176

40 – 50 Years

48

28.54%

120

71.43%

168

50 – 60 Years

24

35.30%

44

64.70%

68

60 Years and above

08

100.00%

08

Total

144

28.80%

356

71.20%

500

100.00%

On the question of protesting against employers, majority of most age groups answered in the negative led by 100.00 per cent of 60 Years and above, 85.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years, 71.43 per cent of 40 – 50 years, 65.90 per cent of 30 – 40 years and 64.70 per cent of 50-60 years.  Those protested were led by 35.30 per cent of 50-60 years, 34.10 per cent of 30-40 years, and 28.57 per cent of 40-50 years,. The least protested group was of 20 – 30 years with a mere 15.00 per cent.

Table- 40

Justifiability of Demand for Higher Wages

Age Group

Justifiable

Not Justifiable

No response

Total

20 – 30 Years

40

50.00%

40

50.00%

80

30 – 40 Years

64

36.40%

112

63.60%

176

40 – 50 Years

56

33.30%

108

64.30%

04

02.40%

168

50 – 60 Years

28

41.20%

40

58.80%

68

60 Years and above

08

100.00%

08

Total

188

37.60%

308

61.60%

04

00.80%

500

100.00%

One  hundred per cent of the age group of 60 years and above, 50.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years, 63.60 per cent of 30 – 40 years, 64.30 per cent of 40 – 50 years and 58.80 per cent of 50-60 years believe that the  demand for higher wages is during financial problems is not justifiable.  However, 50.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years, 36.40% of 30 – 40 years, 33.30 per cent of 40 – 50 years and 33.30% of 50 – 60 years justify it.  02.40 per cent of 40 – 50 years declined to give any specific opinion on the question.

Table – 41

Co-operation with Management

Age Group

Will Cooperate

Will Not

No response

Total

20 – 30  Years

68

85.00%

04

05.00%

08

10.00%

80

30 – 40 Years

168

95.50%

04

02.30%

04

02.30%

176

40 – 50 Years

148

88.10%

08

04.80%

12

07.10%

168

50 – 60 Years

64

94.10%

04

05.90%

68

60 Years and above

08

100.00%

08

  Total

456

91.20%

16

03.20%

28

05.60%

 500

100.00%

 

In times of financial crisis, 100.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years, 95.50 of 30-40 years, 94.10 per cent of 50-60 years, 88.10 per cent of 40-50 years, and 85.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years said they would co-operate with the management,.  The number of non-cooperating respondents was too less.  However, 10.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years and 07.10 per cent of 40 – 50 years declined to give any answer.

Table – 42

Fudging of Account by Management

Age Group

Do not fudge

Do fudge

No response

Total

20 – 30 Years

36

45.00%

28

35.00%

16

20.00%

80

30 – 40 Years

84

47.70%

64

36.40%

28

15.90%

176

40 – 50 Years

52

31.00%

84

50.00%

32

19.00%

168

50 – 60 Years

48

70.60%

20

29.40%

68

60 years and above

08

100.00%

08

Total

228

45.60%

196

39.20%

76

15.20%

500

100.00%

One hundred per cent of 60- years and above, 70.60% of 50 – 60 Years, 47.70 Per cent of 30 – 40 years, 45.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years and 31.00 per cent 40 – 50 years do not believe that their managements would fudge the accounts.  On the contrary, 50.00 per cent of 40-50 years, 36.40 per cent of 30-40 years, 35.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years, 29.40 per cent of 60 years and above feel that their managements fudge accounts.  20.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years, 19.00 per cent of 40 – 50 years and 15.90 per cent of 30 – 40 years remained neutral.

 

Table – 43

The Media that Pay Better Wages:

Age Group

Print

Electronic

Not sure

Total

20 – 30 Years

40

50.00%

40

50.00%

80

30 – 40  Years

116

65.90%

60

34.10%

176

40 – 50 Years

120

71.40%

44

26.20%

04

2.40%

168

50 – 60 Years

56

82.40%

12

17.60%

68

60 Years and above

04

50.00%

04

50.00%

08

Total

 

336

67.20%

160

32.00%

04

00.80%

500

100.00%

As to the question of media that pays better, the age group of 20 – 30 years was equally divided between print and electronic.  So was the group of 60 years and above.  However 82.40 per cent of 50-60 years, 71.40 per cent of 40 – 50 years, 65.90 per cent of 30 – 40 years voted for print while 34.10 per cent of 30 – 40 years, 26.20 per cent of 40 – 50 years and 17.60 per cent of 50 – 60 years opted for electronic media.

Table – 44

Better Paymaster: Private vs. Government Organisations

Age Group

Government

Private

No response

Total

20 – 30 Years

36

45.00%

44

55.00%

80

30 – 40Years

96

54.50%

80

45.50%

176

40 – 50 Years

96

57.10%

64

38.10%

08

4.80%

168

50 – 60 Years

32

47.10%

36

52.90%

68

60 Years and above

08

100.00%

– 00 –

08

   Total

260

52.00%

232

46.40%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

100.00 per cent of 60 years and above, 52.90 per cent of 50-60 years and 55.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years and 45.50 per cent of 30-40 years felt that the private sector was a better paymaster than the Government sector.  On the other hand, 57.10 per cent of 40 – 50 years, 54.50 per cent of 30 – 40 years, 47.10 per cent of 50 – 60 years and 45.00 per cent of 20 –30 years opted for the public sector.  The difference between two views was not all that significant.

Table – 45

 Advantage of FDI in Media Sector

Age Group

Better Wages

Status Quo

No response

Total

20 – 30 Years

44

55.00%

36

45.00%

80

30 – 40 Years

100

56.80%

76

43.20%

176

40 – 50 Years

108

64.30%

56

33.30%

04

2.40%

168

50 – 60 Years

44

64.70%

24

35.30%

68

60 Years and above

04

50.00%

04

50.00%

08

Total

300

60.00%

192

38.40%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

64.70 Per cent of 50 – 60 Years, 64.30 per cent of 40 – 50 Years, 56.80% of 30 – 40 years, 55.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years and 50.00 per cent of 60 years and above expected better wages while 45.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years, 43.20 per cent of 30 40 years, 33.30 per cent of 40 – 50 years and 35.30 per cent of 50 – 60 years did not expect much change.  Strangely, 50.00 per cent of 60 years and above did not respond to the question, who were otherwise forthcoming always.

Table – 46

Activeness of the State Union of Journalists

Age Group

Very active

Not active

Cannot say

Total

20 – 30 Years

64

80.00%

12

15.00%

04

05.00%

80

30 – 40 Years

136

77.30%

32

18.2%

08

04.50%

176

40 – 50 Years

124

73.80%

24

14.30%

20

11.90%

168

50 – 60 Years

60

88.20%

04

05.90%

04

05.90%

68

60 Years and above

08

100.00%

00.00

00.00

08

Total

392

78.40%

72

14.40%

36

07.20%

500

100.00%

Fig: 15 Activeness of the State Union of Journalists

One hundred per cent of the respondents from the age group of 60 Years and above agreed that the state union was active, followed by 88.20 per cent of 50 – 60 years, 80.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years, 77.30 per cent of 30 – 40 years and 73.80 per cent of 40 – 50 years.  11.90 per cent of the latter group of 40 – 50 years did not respond to the query.

Table – 47

Reasons for Union Inactivity

Age Group

Corporatisation

of media

Better wages, facilities

Inter-media

Movement

Other

Total

20 – 30 Years

08

66.37%

04

33.33%

12

30 – 40 Years

12

37.50%

12

37.50%

08

25.00%

32

40 – 50 Years

08

33.33%

08

33.33%

04

04

16.67%

24

50 – 60 Years

04

100.00%

04

60 Years above

Total

28

38.88%

28

38.88%

12

16.68%

04

05.56%

72

100.00%

Of those who said corporatisation of media was responsible for union inactivity, 66.37% belonged to 20 – 30 years category, 37.50 per cent to 30 – 40 years category, and 33 – 33 Per cent to 40 – 50 years category. 33.33 per cent of 20 – 30 years, 30.50 per cent of 30 – 40 years, 33.33 per cent of 40 – 50 years and 100.00 per cent of 50 – 60 years ascribed it to better wages and facilities only 25.00 per cent of 30 – 40 years and 16.67 per cent of 40 – 50 years attributed union inactivity to inter-media movement .  So also only 16.67 per cent of the respondents of 40 – 50 years identified ‘other’ reasons.

Table – 48

Acceptance of Wage Board Recommendation Sex-Wise Response

Sex

Accepted

Not accepted

No response

Total

Male

384

87.27%

48

10.91%

08

1.82%

440

100.00%

Female

44

73.33%

16

26.67%

60

100.00%

 

428

85.60%

64

12.80%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

87.27 per cent of men and 73.33 per cent of women said that the wage board recommendations were implemented for them.  The contrary view was expressed by 10.90 per cent of men and 26.67 per cent of women.

Table – 49

 Implementation Level of Wage Board Recommendations

Sex

Totally

Partially

No response

Total

Male

248

56.40%

176

40.00%

16

03.60%

440

100.00%

Female

20

33.33%

40

66.7%

60.00

100.00%

Total

268

53.60%

216

43.20%

16

03.20%

500

100.00%

A good majority of males, 56.40 per cent and only 33.33 per cent of female journalists said that the recommendations of the wage board were totally implemented, while 40.00 per cent of men and 66.67 per cent of women opined that the recommendations were implemented partially.  About 03.60 per cent of men did not offer my response.

Table – 50

Reasons for Non-Implementation

Sex

Does not  have revenue

Competition

Heavy

investment

Financial loss

Does not have revenue, financial loss

Competition, financial loss

Total

Male

146

33.17%

12

02.72%

24

05.45%

250

56.82%

04

0.92%

04

0.92%

440

100.00%

Female

30

50.00%

30

50.00%

60

100.00%

Total

176

35.20%

12

02.40%

24

04.80%

280

56.00%

04

0.80

04

0.80

500

100.00%

When asked about the possible reasons for non-implementation of wage board recommendations, 33.17% of men and 50.00 per cent of women identified lack of revenue, 56.82 per cent of men and 50.00 per cent of women cited financial loss. Only 05.45 per cent of men pointed out at heavy investment.  02.72 per cent of men ascribed it to competition and women were categorical in choosing only two reasons.

Table – 51

Opinion on Contract System of Employment

Sex

Acceptable

Not acceptable

No response

Total

Male

132

30.00%

152

69.10%

04

0.90%

440

100.00%

Female

08

13.30%

204

86.70%

60

100.00%

Total

140

28.00%

356

71.20%

04

0.80%

500

100.00%

As to the contract system of employment prevailing, only 30.00 per cent of men and 13.30 per cent of women accepted it of the remaining 69.10 per cent of men and 86.70% of women opposed the contract system.  Only 0.90 per cent of men were non-committal.

Table – 52

ILL- Effects of the Contract System

Sex

Affects job security

Affects morale

Breeds pressure of uncertainty

Affects Organizational loyalty

Affects job security morale

Affects job security, breeds pressure of uncertainty

Affects job security affects organisational loyalty

Male

214

48.64%

52

11.82%

62

14.09%

24

05.45%

24

05.45%

18

4.09%

06

01.36%

Female

40

66.67%

00

06

10.00%

00

00

254

50.80%

52

10.40%

68

13.60%

24

04.80%

24

04.80%

18

03.60%

06

01.20%

Affects job security, morale and breeds pressure of uncertainty

Affects job security, morale, organisational loyalty and breeds pressure of uncertainty

No opinion

Total

34

7.73%

06

01.36%

440

14

23.33%

00

60

48

09.60%

06

01.20%

500

100.00%

Table – 53

Membership of Unions

Sex

IFWJ

KUWJ

Other

Not a member

Total

Male

56

12.73%

270

61.36%

08

1.825

106

24.09%

440

100.00%

Female

30

50.00%

30

50.00%

60

100.00%

56

11.20%

300.00

60.00%

08

01.60%

136

27.20%

500

100.00%

 

When it came to the membership of the Union, 61.36 per cent of men and 50.00 per cent of women were members of the Kerala Union of working Journalists, while 12.73 per cent of men affiliated themselves to the Indian Federation of working Journalists, though the former is part of the latter 24.09 per cent of men and 50.00 per cent of women did not associate themselves with any union.  01.82 per cent of men did not respond.

Table – 54

Protective Power of Unions

Sex

Can Protect

Cannot

Total

Male

348

79.09%

92

20.91%

440

100.00

Female

52

86.67%

08

13.33%

60

100.00%

 

400

80.00%

100

20.00%

500.00

100.00%

  As regards the protective power of the unions, 86.67 per cent of female respondents and 79.09per cent of male respondents were positive about it.  On the other hand 20.91 per cent of men and 13.33 per cent of women did not believe in the protective power of the union.

Table – 55

Acceptance of Trade Union Activities

Sex

Acceptable

Not Acceptable

Total

Male

260

59.09%

180

40.91%

440

100.00%

Female

36

60.00%

24

40.00%

60

100.00%

 

296

59.20%

204

40.80%

500

100.00%

 

Fig: 16 Acceptance of Trade Union Activities

59.09 per cent of men and 60.00 per cent of women respondents termed the trade union activities of journalists as acceptable while 40.90 per cent of men and 40.00 per cent of women found it unacceptable.  The level of non-acceptance of trade union activities is relatively high, possibly due to the corporatisation and globalization of media, besides inter-media mobility.

Table – 56

Reasonableness of Media Owners

Sex

Reasonable

Not Reasonable

No Opinion

Total

Male

216

49.09%

212

48.18%

12

2.73%

440

100.00%

Female

40

66.67%

16

26.67%

04

6.66%

60

100.00%

 

256

51.20%

228

45.60%

16

03.20%

 500

100.00%

On the question of reasonableness of the employers, 66.67 per cent of women and 49.09 per cent of men respondents considered them as reasonable while 48.18 per cent of men and only 26.67 per cent of women found them unreasonable.  The opinion is almost vertically divided among men while most women found their employers reasonable.

Table – 57

Acceptance of Collective Bargaining

Sex

Fundamental right

Not  So

No opinion

Total

Men

316

71.82%

112

25.46%

12

02.72%

440

100.00%

Women

36

60.00%

16

26.67%

08

13.33%

60

100.00%

352

70.40%

128

25.60%

20

04.00%

500

100.00%

 

71.82 per cent of men and 60.00 per cent of women respondents accepted the method of collective bargaining for better wages and facilities.  However, 25.46 per cent of men and 26.67 per cent of women did not approve it.  A handful of men, 2.72 per cent and 13.33 per cent of women declined to answer the question.

Table – 58

Ethicality of Unionisation

Sex

Ethical

Unethical

No Comment

Total

Men

384

87.27%

48

10.91%

08

01.82%

440

100.00%

Women

56

93.33%

04

06.67%

60

100.00%

440

88.00%

52

10.40%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

87.27 per cent of men and 93.33 per cent of women considered unionization of media persons as ethical while only a minute minority of 10.91 per cent of men and 06.67 per cent of women thought that it was unethical.  01.82 per cent of men declined to comment.  Gender wise, women are more vocal than men in favour of unionization.

Table – 59

Protest against Employers

Sex

Protested

Never

Total

Men

132

30.00%

308

70.00%

440

100.00%

Women

12

20.00%

48

80.00%

60

100.00%

Total

144

28.80%

356

71.20%

500

100.00%

Among men respondents, 70.00 per cent, and 80.00 per cent of women said they never participated in any sort of protest against their employers.  However, 30.00 per cent of men and 20.00 per cent of women responded in the affirmative. Even though women are vocal supporters of unionization, when it came to protests, their number dwindled a bit.

Table – 60

Justifiability of Demand for Higher Wages

Sex

No response

Justifiable

Not justifiable

Total

Male

04

00.90%

156

35.46%

280

63.64%

440

100.00%

Female

32

53.33%

28

46.67%

60

100.00%

Total

04

00.80%

188

37.60%

308

61.60%

500

100.00%

When the question of justifiability of the demand for higher emoluments was posed to the respondents, only 35.46 per cent of men justified, while 53.33 per cent of women endorsed it.  However, a majority of 63.64 per cent of men considered it not justifiable.  46.67 per cent of men said the same.  A small percentage of 00.90 per cent of men declined to answer the question.

Table–61

Co – operation with Management

Sex

Will Corporate

Will Not

No  Response

Total

Male

404

91.80%

12

02.70%

24

05.50%

440

100.00%

Female

52

86.66%

04

06.67%

04

06.67%

60

100.00%

Total

456

91.20%

16

03.20%

28

05.60%

500

100.00%

91.80 per cent of men and 86.66 per cent women respondents said that in difficult situations they would co-operate with the management.  A very minute portion of men (02.70%) and women (06.67%) said that they would not co-operate with the management even in difficult situations.  05.50 per cent of men and 06.67 per cent of women respondents did not offer any response.

Table – 62

On Fudging of Accounts

Sex

Do not fudge

Do fudge

No response

Total

Male

196

44.50%

172

39.10%

72

16.40%

440

100.00%

Female

32

53.30%

24

40.00%

04

06.70%

60

100.00%

Total

228

45.60%

196

39.20%

76

15.20%

500

100.00%

44.50 per cent of men and 53.30 per cent of women said that the media organizations do not fudge the accounts, while 39.10 per cent of men and 40 per cent of women feel so.  About 16.40 per cent of men and 06.70 per cent of women did not answer the question.

Table – 63

Media That Pay Better Wages

Sex

Print

Electronic

No response

Total

Male

304

69.10%

132

30.00%

04

00.90%

440

100.00%

Female

32

53.30%

28

46.70%

60

100.00%

Total

336

67.20%

160

32.00%

04

00.80%

500

100.00%

A majority of respondents from the groups, 69.10 per cent of men and 53.30 per cent of women identified print as the media that paid better wages than the electronic media while 30.00 per cent of men and 46.70 per cent of women opted for electronic media.  The data show the preference to print over electronic media in terms of better wages.

Table 64

The Sector That Paid Better (Sector)

Sex

Government

Private

Can’t say

Total

Male

236

53.60%

196

44.60%

08

01.80%

440

100.00%

Female

24

40.00%

36

60.00%

60

100.00%

Total

260

52.00%

232

46.40%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

 

For 53.60 per cent of men and 40.00 per cent of women considered the government sector as a better paymaster while 44.60per cent of men and 60.00 per cent of women felt that the private sector paid better than the government sector.  Even though the women respondents favoured the private sector, numerically it was not significant.

Table 65

Advantage of Foreign Direct Investment in Media Sector

Sex

Better wages

Status quo.

No. response

Total

Male

260

59.10%

172

39.10%

08

01.80%

440

Female

40

66.67%

20

(33.33%)

60

Total

300

60.00%

192

38.40%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

In the event of foreign direct investment in the media sector, better wages would be main advantage, according to 59.10 per cent of male respondents and 66.67 per cent of women.  However, 39.10 per cent of men and 33.33 per cent of women did not envisage any change in their conditions.  Only 01.80 per cent of men retained from giving answer.

Table 66

Activeness of the State Union of Journalists

Sex

Very active

Not active

Can’t say

Total

Male

344

78.20%

64

14.50%

32

07.30%

440

100.00%

Female

48

80.00%

08

13.30%

04

06.70%

60

100.00%

Total

392

78.40%

72

14.40%

36

07.20%

500

100%

 

For 78.20 per cent of men and 80.00 per cent of women, the state union of working journalists was very active.  On the other hand, 14.50 per cent of men and 13.30 per cent of women found it in-active.  07.30 per cent of men and 06.70 per cent of women would not have any answer.

Table – 67

Reasons for the Inactivity of the Union

Media

Corporatisation

Better

Wages and

Facilities

Inter media

Movement

Other

Total

1

2

3

4

5

6

Male

20

35.70%

20

35.70%

12

21.40%

04

07.20%

56

100%

Female

08

50.00%

08

50.00%

16

100.00%

Total

28

38.90%

28

38.90%

12

16.65%

4

05.55%

72

100.00%

 

Among those who said that the state union was inactive, 50.00 per cent of women and 35.70 per cent of men identified media corporatisation as the reason for its dormant state while the number of men and women better wages and facilities as the reason.  21.40 per cent of men found inter-media movement as the factor.

Education-wise Classification of Responses

Table 68

Acceptance of the Wage Board Recommendations

Education

Acceptable

Not

Acceptable

No

Response

Total

S.S.L.C

08

100.00%

08

Plus-two

28

87.50

04

12.50%

32

Degree

76

82.60%

16

17.40%

92

Diploma

16

66.67%

04

16.66%

04

16.66%

24

Post-graduation

220

93.22%

16

06.78%%

236

P.G. diploma

48

70.59%

16

23.53%

04

05.88%

68

Ph.D

20

83.33%

04

16.67%

24

Other

12

75.00%

04

25%

16

Total

428

85.60%

64

12.80%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

 

 

Fig: 17 Acceptances of the Wage Board Recommendations

 

In the education wise classification, 100.00 per cent of SSLC educated, 87.50 per cent of Plus two category, 82.60 per cent of degree holders, 66.67 per cent of diploma holders, 93.22 per cent of post-graduates, 70.59 per cent, 83.33 per cent of Ph.D holders and 75.00 per cent of others found the wage board recommendations acceptable.  12.50 per cent of plus two educated,  17.40 per cent of degree holders, 16.66 per cent of diploma holders, 06.78 per cent of post graduates, 23.53 per cent of PG diploma holders, 16.67 per cent of doctorates and 25.00 per cent of others disfavoured the recommendations.  16.66 per cent of diploma holders and 05.88 per cent of PG diploma holders failed to respond either way.

Table – 69

Level of Implementation of Wage Board Recommendations

Totally

Partially

No response

Total

S.S.L.C.

04

50.00%

04

50.00%

08

Plus Two

12

37.50%

20

62.50%

32

Degree

 

40

43.50%

52

56.50%

92

Diploma

12

50.00%

12

50.00%

24

Post-Graduate

152

64.40%

72

30.50%

12

05.10%

236

P.G. Diploma

24

35.30%

40

58.80%

04

05.90%

68

Ph.D.

12

50.00%

12

50.00%

24

Others

12

75.00%

04

25.00%

16

Total

268

53.60%

216

43.20%

16

3.20%

500

100.00%

 

Fig: 18 Level of Implementation of Wage Board Recommendations

50.00 per cent of the SSLC educated, 37.50 per cent of Plus Two, 43.50 per cent of degree holders, 50.00 per cent of diploma holders, 64.40 per cent of post-graduates, 35.30 per cent of post graduate diploma holders, 50.00 per cent of PhDs and 75.00 per cent of others agreed that recommendations were implemented totally while 50.00 per cent of the SSLC educated, 62.50 per cent of Plus Two, 56.50 per cent of degree holders, 50.00 per cent of diploma holders, 36.50 per cent of Post-graduates, 58.80-per cent of PG diploma holders, 50.00 per cent of doctorates and 25.00 per cent of others said the recommendations were implemented partially.  05.10 per cent of post-graduates and 05.90 per cent of PG diploma holders declined to answer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table-70

Reasons for Non-Implementation

Education

Does not have revenue

Competition

Heavy investment

Finance Loss

Does not have revenue, financial loss

Competition financial lose

Total

SSLC

08

100.00%

08

+2

32

100.00%

32

Degree

76

82.60%

04

04.35%

12

(13.05%)

92

Diploma

24

(100.00%)

24

Post-Graduation

44

18.65%

08

3.40%

24

10.15%

160

67.80%

236

PG Diploma

56

82.35%

08

11.77%

68

Ph.D

20

83.33%

04

16.67%

24

Others

16

100.00%

04

5.88%

16

Total

176

35.20%

12

02.40%

24

04.80%

280

56.00%

04

0.80%

04

0.80%

500

100

Table – 71

Acceptance of Contract System

Education

No response

Acceptance

Non acceptance

Total

SSLC

04

50.00%

04

50.00%

08

Plus Two

12

37.50%

20

62.50

32

Degree

36

39.10%

56

60.90%

92

Diploma

04

16.70%

20

83.30%

24

Post Graduation

52

22.00%

184

78.00%

236

P.G. Diploma

04

05.90%

20

29.40%

44

64.70%

68

Ph.D

08

33.33%

16

66.37%

24

Others

04

25.00%

12

75.00%

16

Total

04

00.80%

140

28.00%

356

71.20%

500

100.00%

50.00 per cent of SSLC educated, 37.50 per cent of Plus Two educated, 39.10 per cent of degree holders, 16.70 per cent of diploma holders, 22.00 per cent of Post Graduates,  29.40 per cent of PG Diploma holders, 33.33 per cent of Ph.D holders and 25.00 per cent of others category favoured the prevailing contract system.  On the contrary 50.00 per cent of SSLC educated, 62.50  per cent of Plus two category, 60.90 per cent  of degree holders, 83.30 per cent of diploma holders, 78.00 per cent of post-graduates, 64.70 per cent of PG diploma holders, 66.37 per cent of PhDs and 75.00 per cent of others opposed it.  Only 05.90 per cent of PG diploma holders declined to answer the question.  The overwhelming response in all the educational categories was against the prevailing contract system.

On the reasons listed for non-implementation of wage board recommendations by a few media organizations, 82.60 per cent of degree holders, 18.65 per cent of post graduates and 82.35 per cent of post graduate diploma holders opted for the absence of revenue.  Financial loss was the reason cited by 100.00 per cent each by SSLC educated, plus two educated, diploma holders and others, followed by 85.33% per cent of Ph.D. holders, 67.80 per cent of post graduates, 13.05 per cent of degree holders and 11.77 per cent of P.G. diploma holders,.  Heavy investment was cited by 10.15 per cent of post graduates and absence of revenue and financial loss by 16.67 per cent of Ph,.D. holders

Table – 72

ILL-Effects of Contract System

Education

Affects job security

Affects morale

Breeds pressure of uncertainty

System Affects organizational loyalty

Affects both job security and morale

Affects job security and

breeds

pressure of

uncertainty

SSLC

08

100.00%

+2

16

50.00%

16

50.00

Degree

46

50.00%

06

6.52%

12

6.52%

06

6.52%

06

6.52%

Diploma

16

66.67%

Post-Graduation

144

61.00%

18

7.60%

36

15.25%

12

5.10%

12

5.10%

12

5.10%

PG Diploma

32

47.10%

06

8.80%

06

8.80%

Ph.D.

08

33.33%

06

25.00%

06

25.00%

Other

04

06

37.50%

Total

254

50.80%

52

10.40%

68

13.60%

24

04.80%

24

04.80%

18

03.60%

Affects job

Security and

Organizational loyalty

Affects job security, morale and breeds pressure of uncertainty

Affects job security, breeds pressure of uncertainty and affects organizational loyalty

Total

08

32

06

6.52%

10

10.90%

92

08

33.33%

24

02

0.85%

236

24

35.30%

68

04

16.67%

24

00

06

37.50%

16

06

01.20%

48

09.60%

06

01.20%

500

100.00%

One hundred per cent of the SSLC educated said that the contract system would breed pressure of uncertainty while 50.00 per cent each of Plus two category contented that it would affect job security and affect the morale of employees.    50.00 per cent of degree holders, 66.67% per cent of diploma holders and 47.10 per cent of PG diploma holders agreed that it would affect job security.  33.33 per cent of PhD holders said that it would affect the employee morale. 37.50 per cent from the category of others opined that it would affect the organizational loyalty.  25.00 per cent each of PhD holders also contented that it would breed pressure of uncertainty, and affect job security as well as breed pressure of uncertainty.  33.33 per cent of diploma holders and 35.30per cent of PG diploma holders said that it would affect job security. Employees morale and breed pressure of uncertainty.

Table – 73

Benefits of Contract System

Education

Enhances competitiveness

Improves quality

Provides incentives

Builds corporate ethos

Performance is recognized

SSLC

08

100.00%

Plus Two

16

50.00%

08

25.00%

Degree

40

43.50%

12

13.05%

Diploma

24

100.00%

Post Graduation

62

26.30%

38

16.10%

40

16.95%

14

5.90%

PG Diploma

06

8.80%

26

38.25%

Ph.D.

Other

Total

78

15.60%

110

22.00%

46

09.20%

14

02.80%

46

09.20%

Introduces professionalism

Enhances competitiveness, improves quality

Enhances competitiveness, provides  incentives

Enhances competitiveness

improves quality, performance is recognized

08

25.00%

12

13.05%

14

15.20%

20

08.50%

04

01.70%

16

23.50%

18

26.50%

02

11.75%

10

41.67%

14

58.33%

02

12.50%

46

09.20%

46

09.20%

14

02.80%

14

02.80%

 

Enhances competitiveness, provides incentives performance is recognized

Improves quality performance is recognized, introduces professionalism

Enhances competitiveness, improves quality, performance is recognized, introduces professionalism

No  opinion

Total

08

32

14

15.20%

92

24

14

5.90%

30

12.75%

14

05.90%

236

68

24

14

87.50%

16

02.80%

14

02.80%

30

06.00%

14

02.80%

28

05.60%

500

100.00%

As to the merits of the c contract t system, 100.00 per cent of SSLC educated averred the recognition of performance.  50.00 per cent of Plus two said that it would increase competition, while 100.00 per cent of diploma holders and 43.50 per cent of degree holders identified increase in quality.  38.25 per cent of PG holders said that the performance would be recognized.  41.67percdent of PhD holders and 23.50 per cent PG diploma holders recognized introduction of professionalism and 5.83 per cent and 26.50 per cent of the same thought of enhancement of competitiveness and provision of incentives. The latter was supported by 25.00 per cent Plus two educated.  87.50 per cent of others declined to answer.

Table – 74

Union Membership

Education

IFWJ

KUWJ

Others

Not  a member

Total

SSLC

04

50.00%

04

50.00%

08

Plus Two

08

25.00%

12

37.50%

12

37.50%

32

Degree

16

17.40%

48

52.20%

04

04.30%

24

26.10%

92

Diploma

04

16.67%

16

66.66%

04

16.67%

24

Post-Graduation

24

10.00%

156

66.10%

56

23.80%

236

P.G. Diploma

40

58.80%

28

41.20%

68

Ph.D.

04

16.67%

16

66.66%

04

16.67%

24

Other

08

50.00%

08

50.00%

16

Total

56

11.20%

300

60.00%

08

01.60%

136

27.20%

500

100.00%

 

50.00 per cent of SSLC educated, 37.50 per cent  of plus two, 52.20 per cent of degree holders, 66.66 per cent of diploma holders, 66.10 per cent of post-graduates, 58.80 per cent of post-graduate diploma holders, 66.66 per cent of doctorates, and 50.00 per cent of other educated were  members of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists.  50.00 per cent of SSLC educated, 50.00 per cent from the other category, 41.20 per cent of P.G. diploma holders and 37.50 per cent of Plus two educated were not members of any union. Similarly 26.10 per cent of degree holders.  A countable few were direct members of the Indian Federation of Working Journalists.  The largest group was post-graduates in terms of numbers.

Table – 75

Power of Unions to Protect Interests of Working Journalists

Education

Can Protect

Cannot

Total

SSLC

08

100.00%

08

Plus Two

28

87.50%

04

12.50%

32

Degree

60

65.20%

32

34.80%

92

Diploma

20

83.30%

04

16.70%

24

Post-Graduation

204

86.40%

32

13.60%

236

P.G. Diploma

52

76.50%

16

23.50%

68

Ph.D.

12

50.00%

12

50.00%

24

Other

16

100.00%

16

Total

400

80..00%

100

20.00%

500

100.00%

Fig: 19 Power of Unions to Protect Interests of Working Journalists

One hundred per cent of SSLC educated, 87.50 per cent of Plus two, 65.20 per cent of degree holders and 83.30 per cent of diploma holders, 86.40 per cent of post graduates, 76.50 per cent of PG diploma holders and 100.00 per cent of the other category were positive that the union can protect their interests while Ph.D holders were equally divided between yes and no.

Table – 76

Acceptance of Trade Union Tactics

Educational Group

Acceptable

Not acceptable

Total

SSLC

08

100.00%

08

Plus Two

24

75.00%

08

25.00%

32

Degree

64

69.60

28

30.40%

92

Diploma

20

83.30%

04

16.70%

24

Post-Graduation

132

55.90%

104

44.10%

236

P.G. Diploma

28

41.20%

40

58.80%

68

Ph.D

08

33.30%

16

66.70%

24

Others

12

75.00%

04

25.00%

16

Total

296

59.20%

204

40.80%

500

100.00%

 

One hundred per cent of SSLC educated, 75.00 per cent each of plus two and others, 83.30 per cent of diploma holders, 69.60 per cent of degree holders and 55.90 per cent of post graduates accepted trade union tactics while 66.70 per cent of Ph.D. holders, 58.80 per cent of P.G. diploma holders and 44.10 per cent of post graduates along with, 33.40 per cent of degree holders did not accept it.

Table – 77

Reasonableness of Media Owners

Education

Reasonable

Not reasonable

No opinion

Total

SSLC

08

100.00%

08

Plus Two

28

87.50%

04

12.50%

32

Degree

40

43.50%

48

52.20%

04

04.30%

92

Diploma

16

66.70%

04

16.65%

04

16.65%

24

Post-Graduation

128

54.20%

100

42.40%

0.8

03.40%

236

P.G. Diploma

32

47.05%

36

52.95%

68

Ph.D.

08

33.30%

16

66.70%

24

Other

04

25.00%

12

75.00%

16

Total

256

51.20%

228

45.60%

16

03.20

500

100.00%

 

87.50 Per cent of Plus two, 66.70 per cent of diploma holders, 54.20 per cent of post-/graduates and 47.05 per cent of P.G. diploma holders found the media owners as reasonable. On the other, 100.00 per cent of SSLC educated, 52.95 per cent of P.G. Diploma holders, 52.20 per cent of degree holders, 66.70 per cent of Ph.Ds and 75.00 per cent of others considered media owners as not reasonable.

Table – 78

Acceptance of Collective Bargaining

Educational

level

Fundamental

Right

Not so

No response

Total

S.S.L.C.

08

100.00%

08

Plus Two

20

62.50%

12

37.50%

32

Degree

60

65.20%

32

34,80%

92

Diploma

16

66.70%

04

16.35%

04

16.35%

24

Post Graduation

168

71.20%

52

22.00%

16

06.80%

236

P.G. Diploma

48

70.60%

20

29.40%

68

Ph.D

16

66.70%

08

33.30%

24

Other

16

100.00%

16

Total

352

70.40%

128

25.60%

20

04.00%

500

100.00%

 

One hundred per cent of SSLC educated, 62.50% per cent of Plus two, 65.20 per cent of degree holders, 66.70% per cent of diploma holders, 71.20 per cent of post graduates, 70.60 per cent  of PG diploma holders, 66.70 per cent of Ph.Ds and 100.00 per cent of others contended that it was a fundamental right to collectively bargain.  However, 37.50 per cent of Plus two educated, 34.80 per cent of degree holders 33.30 per cent of Ph.D. holders in addition to 29.40 per cent of PG diploma holders did not think so.

 

Table – 79

Ethicality of Unionisation

Education

Ethical

Unethical

No response

Total

SSLC

08

100.00%

08

Plus Two

24

75.00%

08

25.00%

32

Degree

84

91.30%

08

08.70%

92

Diploma

24

100.00%

24

Post-graduation

204

86.40%

24

10.20%

08

03.40%

236

P.G. Diploma

64

94.10%

04

05.90%

68

Ph.D.

20

83.30%

04

16.70%

24

Others

12

75.00%

04

25.00%

16

Total

440

88.00%

52

10.40%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

 

One hundred per cent of SSLC educated, 75.00 per cent of plus two, 91.30 per cent of degree holders, 100.00 per cent of diploma holders, 86.40 per cent of post-graduates, 94.10 per cent of P.G diploma holders, 83.30 per cent of doctorates and 75 per cent of others considered unionization as ethical.   Only 25.00 per cent of plus two and 25.00 per cent of others were in a good number to say that unionization was unethical.

Table – 80

Protest against Employers

Education

Protested

Never

Total

SSLC

08

100.00%

08

 

Plus Two

12

37.50%

20

62.50%

32

 

Degree

36

39.10%

56

60.90%

92

Diploma

08

33.30%

16

66.70%

24

 

Post-Graduation

52

22.00%

184

78.00%

236

 

P.G. Diploma

24

35.30%

44

64.70%

68

 

Ph.D.

12

50.00%

12

50.00%

24

 

Others

16

100.00%

16

 

Total

144

28.80%

356

71.20%

500

100.00%

 

One hundred per cent of SSLC educated, 62.50  per cent of plus two, 60.90 per cent of degree holders, 66.70 per cent of diploma holders, 78.00 per cent of post graduates, 64.70 per cent of PG diploma holders, 50.00 per cent of Ph.Ds and 100.00 per cent of others never participated in any protest against employers.  However 37.50 per cent of Plus two educated, 39.10 per cent of degree holders, 33.30 per cent of diplomas, 35.30 per cent of post-graduate diploma holders and 50.00 per cent of Ph.Ds. answered in the affirmative.

Table – 81

Justifiability of Demand for Higher Wages

Education

Justifiable

Not justifiable

No response

Total

SSLC

04

50.00%

04

50.00%

08

Plus Two

08

25.00%

24

75.00%

32

Degree

36

39.10%

56

60.90%

92

Diploma

12

50.00%

12

50.00%

24

Post graduation

80

33.90%

152

64.40%

04

01.70%

236

P.G. Diploma

36

52.90%

32

47.10%

68

Ph.D

08

33.30%

16

66.70%

24

Other

02

25.00%

12

75.00%

16

Total

188

37.60%

308

61.60%

04

00.80%

500

100.00%

 

Most educational groups believe that it is not justifiable to demand higher wages when the media organization is facing financial problems.  Prominent are plus two (75.00%) degree holders (60.90%), Post-graduates(64.40%), Ph.D holders (64.40%) and others (75.00%).  Those who justified are SSLC educated (50.00%) diploma (50.00%), PG diploma (52.90%),, Post graduates (33.90%) and Ph.Ds (33.30 per cent)

Table -82

Co – operation with Management

Education

Will Co-operate

Will not

co-operate

No response

Total

SSLC

04

50.00%

04

50.00%

08

Plus Two

32

100.00%

00

00

32

Degree

 

84

91.30%

0.4

04.35%

0.4

04.35%

92

Diploma

20

83.30%

04

16.70%

24

Post-Graduation

212

89.80%

12

05.10%

12

05.10%

236

P.G. Diploma

64

94.10%

04

05.90%

68

Ph.D.

24

100.00%

24

Others

16

100.00%

16

Total

456

91.20%

16

03.20%

28

05.60%

500

100.00%

 

In the event of financial crisis, 100.00 per cent each of Ph.D. holders, and others with plus two educated, 91.30 per cent of degree holders, 94.10 per cent of PG diploma holders, 89.80 per cent of post graduates, 83.30 per cent of diploma holders and 50.00 per cent of SSLC educated said they would co-operate with the management.  Only 50.00 per cent of the SSLC educated answered in the negative.

Table – 83

Fudging of Account by Management

Education

Do not fudge

Do fudge

No response

Total

SSLC

08

100.00%

08

Plus two

20

62.50%

12

32.50%

32

Degree

28

30.45%

52

56.50%

12

13.05%

92

Diploma

20

83.30%

04

13.70%

24

Post graduation

108

45.80%

88

37.30%

40

16.90%

236

P.G. Diploma

28

41.20%

24

35.30%

16

23.50%

68

Ph.D

08

33.30%

12

50.00%

04

16.70%

24

Others

08

50.00%

04

25.00%

04

25.00%

16

Total

228

45.60%

196

39.20%

76

15.20%

500

100.00%

 

100.00 per cent of SSLC educated 83.30 per cent of diploma holders, 62.50 per cent of plus two educated and 50.00per cent of others do not think the accounts are fudged by their management while 56.50 per cent of degree holders, 50.00 per cent of Ph.Ds and 37.30 per cent of Post graduates have a contrary view.

Table – 84

The Media that May Pay Better Wages

Education

Print

Electronic

Not sure

Total

SSLC

04

50.00%

04

50.00%

08

Plus Two

28

87.50%

04

12.50%

32

Degree

84

91.30%

08

08.70%

92

Diploma

20

83.30%

04

16.70%

24

Post graduation

132

55.90%

100

42.40%

04

01.70%

236

PG Diploma

40

58.80%

28

41.20%

68

Ph.D.

16

66.70%

08

33.30%

24

Others

12

75.00%

04

25.00%

16

Total

336

67.20%

160

32.00%

04

00.80%

500

100.00%

 

50.00 per cent of the SSLC educated, 87.50 per cent of plus two, 91.30 per cent of degree holders, 83.30 per cent of diploma holders, 75.00 per cent of others, 66.70 per cent of Ph.Ds. 58.80 per cent of PG diploma holders and 55.90 per cent of post graduates identified print as the medium that paid better wages while 50.00 per cent of SSLC educated, 42.40 per cent of post-graduates, 41.20 per cent of PG diploma holders, 33.30 per cent of Ph.Ds and 25.00 per cent of others opted for electronic media as better paying than others.

Table – 85

Better Paymaster: Private Vs. Government Organisations:

Education

Government

Private

No response

Total

SSLC

08

100.00%

08

Plus Two

12

37.50%

16

50.00%

04

12.50%

32

Degree

48

52.20%

44

47.80%

92

Diploma

12

50.00%

12

50.00%

24

Post graduation

116

49.20%

116

49.20%

04

01.60%

236

P G Diploma

40

58.80%

28

41.20%

68

Ph.D

16

66.70%

08

33.30%

24

Others

08

75.00%

08

25.00%

16

Total

260

52.00%

232

46.40%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

 

One hundred per cent of SSLC educated, 52.20 per cent of degree holders, 50.00 per cent of diploma holders, 49.20 per cent of Post-graduates, 58.80 Per cent of PG diploma holders, 66.70 per cent of doctorates, and 75.00 per cent of the other category sided with government agencies as better paymasters while 50.00 per cent of plus two, 47.80 per cent of degree holders, 50.00 per cent of diploma holders, 49.20per cent of post graduates, 41.20 per cent of PG diploma holders and 33.30 per cent of Ph.Ds found the private organizations as better paymasters than others.

Table – 86

Advantage of FDI in Media Sector

Education

Better Wages

Status quo

No response

Total

SSLC

08

100.00%

08

Plus Two

28

87.50%

04

12.50%

32

Degree

60

65.20%

32

34.80%

92

Diploma

16

66..70%

0.8

33.30%

24

Post-graduation

144

61.00%

84

35.60%

08

03.40%

236

PG Diploma

28

41.20%

40

51.80%

68

Ph.D.

16

66.70%

08

33.30%

24

Other

08

50.00%

08

50.00%

16

Total

300

60.00%

192

38.40%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

On the issue of foreign direct investment in media sector, 87.50 per cent of plus two, 65.20 per cent of degree holders, 66.70- per cent of diploma holders, 61.00 per cent of post-graduates 41.20 per cent of P.G. diploma holders, 66.70 per cent of Ph.Ds and 50.00 per cent  of others, felt it would improve the  wages, while 100.00 per cent of SSLC educated, 50.00 per cent of others,  34.80 per cent degree holders, 51.80 per cent of  P.G. diploma holders, 35.60 per cent of post-graduates, 33.30 per cent  each of Ph.Ds and diploma holders did not envisage any benefit out of this.

Table – 87

Activeness of the State Union of Journalists

Education

Very active

Not

Active

Can’t say

Total

SSLC

04

50.00%

04

50.00%

08

Plus Two

24

75.00%

04

12.50%

04

12.50%

32

Degree

76

82.60%

12

13.05%

04

04.35%

92

Diploma

24

100.00%

24

Post-graduation

180

76.30%

36

15.25%

20

08.45%

236

P.G. Diploma

56

82.30%

08

11.80%

04

05.90%

68

Ph.D.

20

83.30%

04

11.70%

24

Other

08

50.00%

08

50.00%

-0-

16

Total

392

78.40%

72

14.40%

36

07.20%

500

100.00%

 

Fig: 20 Activeness of the State Union of Journalists

Fifty per cent each of SSLC educated and others, 75.00 per cent of Plus two, 82.60 per cent of degree holders, 100.00 per cent of diploma holders, 76.30 per cent of Post-graduates, 82.30 per cent of P.G. diploma holders and 83.30 per cent of Ph.D holders stated that the state union of working journalists was very active while 50.00 per cent each of SSLC educated and others stated otherwise.

Table – 88

Reasons for Inactivity

Education

Corporatisation of media

Better wages facilities

Inter-media movement

Other

Total

S.S.L.C.

04

100.00%

04

Plus 2

04

100.00%

04

Degree

08

66.67%

04

33.33%

12

Post-Graduation

16

44.45

16

44.45%

04

11.10%

36

P.G. Diploma

04

50.00%

04

50.00%

08

Other

04

50.00%

04

50.00%

08

Total

28

38.88%

28

38.88%

12

16.68%`

04

05.56%

72

100.00%

 

A few reasons were cited by the respondents who stated that the state union was inactive.  One hundred per cent of SSLC educated and plus two identified better wages and facilities as the reason.  66.67 per cent of degree holders and 50.00 per cent of PG diploma holders in addition to 44.45 per cent of post graduates identified corporatisation of media as responsible.  44.45 per cent of post graduates and 33.33 per cent of degree holders also pointed out at better wages and facilities.  Inter-media movement was the reason cited by 50.00 per cent each of PG diploma holders and others.  Some unspecified reason was mentioned by 50.00 per cent of others.

Income-wise Classification of Responses

Table-89

Acceptance of Wage Board Recommendations

Income

Acceptable

Not acceptable

No response

Total

Below 1 lakhs

92

82.10%

20

17.90%

112

Between 1-2 lakhs

168

77.80%

40

18.50%

08

03.77%

216

Rs. 2-3 lakhs

124

96.90%

04

03.10%

128

Rs.3-4 lakhs

28

100.00%

28

Rs. 4-5 lakhs

12

100.00%

12

Rs. 5 lakhs and Above

04

100.00%

04

Total

428

85.60%

64

12.80%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

 

When different income groups were taken into account, one hundred per cent of Rs. 3-4 lakhs, 100 per cent each of Rs. 4-5 lakhs and Rs. 5 lakhs and above, 96.90 per cent of Rs.2 -3 lakhs, 82.10 per cent of Rs. 1 lakh and below and 77.80 per cent of the group between Rs. 1 and 2 lakhs said that wage board recommendations are acceptable.  Those who said that they were not acceptable were in a minority.

Table-90

Implementation of Wage Board Recommendations

Income

Response Totally

Partially

No response

Total

Below

Rs. 1.0 Lakhs

24

21.40%

88

78.60%

112

Between Rs. 1-2 lakhs

104

48.20%

96

44.40%

16

07.40%

216

2-3 lakhs

104

81.25%

24

18.75%

128

3-4 lakhs

24

85.70%

04

14.30%

28

4-5 lakhs

08

66.70%

04

33.30%

12

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

04

100.00%

04

Total

268

53.60%

216

43.20

16

03.20%

500

100.00%

 

One hundred per cent of Rs. 5 lakhs and above, 85.70 per cent of Rs. 3-4 lakhs, 81.25 per cent of Rs 2-3 lakhs, 66.70 per cent of Rs. 66.70 lakhs and 48.20 per cent of Rs. 1-2 lakhs conceded the total implementation of wage board recommendations by their media organizations.  Only the respondents of below Rs. 1 lakhs (78.60 per cent) said that these were partially implemented, in addition to 44.40 per cent of Rs. 1-2 lakh and 33.30 per cent of Rs. 4 to 5 lakhs.

 

Table – 91

Reasons for Non – Implementation

Income

Does not have revenue

Competition

Heavy invest-

ment

Financial loss

Does not have revenue and financial loss

Competition and financial loss

Total

Below Rs. 1.0 lakhs

72

64.30%

36

32.10%

04

03.60%

112

Rs. 1-2 lakhs

48

22.20%

08

03.70%

24

11.10%

132

61.10%

04

01.90%

216

Rs. 2-3 lakhs

32

25.00%

04

3.10%

92

71.90%

128

Rs 3-4 lakhs

12

42.85%

16

57.15%

28

Rs 4-5 lakhs

12

100.00%

12

Rs. 5-11 lakhs and above

04

100.00%

04

Total

176

35.20%

12

02.40

24

04.80%

280

56.00%

04

00.80%

04

00.80%

500

100.00%

 

Financial loss was the major reason ascribed to non-implementation of recommendations by media organization by 100.00 per cent of Rs. 5.0 lakhs and above 71.90 per cent of Rs 2-3 lakhs, 57.15 per cent of Rs. 3-4 lakhs,66.10 per cent of Rs. 1-2 lakhs.  Lack of revenue was the reason cited 64.30 per cent of below Rs. 1 lakh, 42.85 per cent of Rs. 3-4 lakhs and 100.00 per cent of Rs. 4-5 lakhs.

Table-92

Opinion on Contract System of Employment

Income group

Acceptable

Not acceptable

No response

Total

Below Rs. 1.0 lakhs

32

28.55%

80

71.45%

112

Rs. 1-2 lakhs

48

22.20%

164

75.95%

04

01.85%

216

Rs. 2-3 lakhs

32

25.00%

96

75.00%

128

Rs 3-4 lakhs

20

71.45%

08

28.55%

28

Rs 4-5 lakhs

04

33.30%

08

66.70%

12

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

04

100.00%

04

Total

140

28.00%

356

71.20%

04

0.80%

500

100.00%

 

Except the highest income group (100.00 per cent) and of Rs. 3-4 lakhs (71.45 per cent), majority of all other groups 71.45 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 lakh, 75.95 per cent of Rs. 1-2 lakhs, 75.00 per cent of Rs. 2-3 lakhs and 66.70 per cent of Rs. 4-5 lakhs opposed the contract system of employment possibly due to the feelings of job insecurity.

Table-93

ILL-Effects of Contract System

Income Group

Affects job security

Affects morale

Breeds pressure of uncertainty

Affects organizational loyalty

Below Rs. 1.0 lakhs

84

75.00%

18

16.10%

06

05.35%

Rs. 1-2 lakhs

130

60.20%

10

04.60%

16

07.40%

06

02.80%

Rs. 2-3 lakhs

40

31.25%

30

23.45%

34

26.55%

12

42.85%

Rs 3-4 lakhs

12

42.85%

Rs 4-5 lakhs

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

Total

254

50.80%

52

10.40%

68

13.60%

24

04.80%

 

Affects job security and morale

Affects job security and breeds pressure of uncertainty

Affects job security, and organizational loyalty

Affects job security, morale and breeds pressure of uncertainty.

Affects job security breeds pressure of uncertainty and affects organizational loyalty

Total

04

03.55

112

12

05.50%

06

02.80%

30

13.90%

06

02.80%

216

04

03.15%

20

15.60%

128

04

14.30%

28

04

33.33%

08

66.67%

12

04

100.00%

04

24

04.80%

18

63.60%

04

01.20%

50

09.60%

06

01.20%

500

100.00%

 

Job security was the main concern of 75.00 per cent of the group below Rs. 1.00 lakh followed by 60.25 per cent of Rs. 1-2 lakhs and 31.25 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs.  For 42.85 per cent each of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs , the ill-effects of the contract system were the  affection of morale and organizational loyalty.  66.67 per cent of respondents of Rs. 4-5 lakhs said it would affect job security as well as breed pressure of uncertainty.   However, 100.00 per cent of the upper income group of Rs. 5 lakhs and above expressed the same view to lead the table.  26.55 per cent of the group of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs believed that the contract system breeds pressure of uncertainty.

Table – 94

Merits of Contract System

Income Group

Enhances competitiveness

Improves quality

Provides incentives

Builds corporate ethos

Below Rs. 1.0 Lakh

30

26.80%

14

12.50%

Between Rs. 1 and 2 lakhs

24

11.10%

80

37.05%

24

11.10%

Between Rs,. 2 – 3 Lakhs

34

26.55%

08

06.25

Between 3 – 4 lakhs

20

71.40%

Between Rs. 4-5 Lakhs

12

100.00%

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

02

50.00%

Total

78

15.60%

110

22.00%

46

09.20%

14

02.80%

 

Perform

ance is recogni

sed

Introduces profession

alism

Enhances competitiveness, improves quality

Enhances competitiveness, provides incentives

Enhances competitiveness improves quality performance is recognized.

14

12.50%

14

12.50%

14

12.50%

20

09.25%

20

09.25%

32

25.00%

12

09.40%

24

18.75%

14

10.90%

02

07.15%

46

09.20%

46

09.20%

46

09.20%

14

02.80%

14

02.80%

Enhances competitiveness, provides incentives, performance

Is recognised

Improves quality, performance is re cognized, introduces professionalism

Enhances competitiveness, improves qualities, performance is recognized introduces professionalism

No opinion

Total

10

08.90%

16

14.30%

112

14

06.50%

28

12.95%

06

02.80%

216

04

03.15%

128

02

07.15%

04

14.30%

28

12

02

50.50%

04

14

02.80%

30

06.00%

14

02.80%

28

05.60%

500

100.00%

 

When it came to the benefits of the contract system, 71.40 per cent of the group of between Rs. 3-4 lakhs said that it would enhance competitiveness, while 100.00 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs and 50.00 per cent of Rs. 5.00 lakhs and above said that it would build corporate ethos. 37.05 per cent of Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs and 26.80 per cent of below Rs.1 lakh groups opined that the contract system would improve quality.  26.55 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs also favoured the element of enhancement of competitiveness.  25.00 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs contended that it would lead to the recognition of performance.  50.00 per cent of the respondents in the group of Rs. 5 lakhs and above did not respond to the query posed.

Table – 95

Union Membership

Income Group

IFWJ

KUWJ

Other

Not a

member

Total

Below Rs. 1.0 lakh

40

35.70%

72

64.30%

112

Rs. 1–2 lakhs

24

11.10%

136

62.95%

08

03.70%

48

22.25%

216

Rs.2-3 lakhs

24

18.75%

92

71.90%

12

09.35%

128

Rs.3-4 lakhs

08

28.60%

20

71.40%

28

Rs. 4-5 lakhs

08

66.67%

04

33.35%

12

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

04

100.00%

04

Total

56

11.20%

300

60.00%

08

01.60%

136

27.20%

500

100.00%

 

A good majority of respondents belonging to all age groups were members of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists, except those belonging to below Rs. 1.00 lakh.  64.30 per cent of them were not members of any union.  100.00 per cent of Rs. 5 lakhs and above 71.90 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs, 71.40 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs, 66.67 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs and 62.95 per cent of Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs had the membership of KUWJ.  Non-members were 33.33 per cent among Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs group.

Table – 96

Union Protecting Interests of Working Journalists

Income group

Can protect

Cannot

Total

Below Rs. 1.0 lakh

108

96.40%

04

03.60%

112

Rs. 1 – 2  lakhs

156

77.80%

60

22.20%

216

Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs

104

81.25%

24

18.75%

128

Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs

20

71.40%

08

28.60%

28

Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs

08

66.67%

04

33.33%

12

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

04

100.00%

04

Total

400

80.00%

100

20.00%

500

100.00%

 

One hundred per cent of Rs. 5 lakhs and above, 96.40 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 lakh, 81.25 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs, 77.80 per cent of Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs, 71.40 per cent of Rs. 3–4 lakhs and 66.67 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs felt that their union would protect their interests while 33.33 per cent of the latter and 28.60 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs did not think so.

 

Table – 97

Acceptance of Trade Union Tactics

Income group

Acceptable

Not acceptable

Total

Below Rs. 1.0 lakh

76

67.85%

36

32.15%

112

Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs

144

66.67%

72

33.33%

216

Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs

56

43.75%

72

56.125%

128

Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs

16

57.15%

12

42.85%

28

Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs

04

33.33%

08

66.67%

12

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

04

100.00%

04

Total

296

59.20%

204

40.80%

500

100.00%

 

Nearly 68.0 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 lakh, 66.67 per cent of Rs. 1-2 lakhs, 57.75 per cent of Rs. 3-4 lakhs and 43.75 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs accepted the trade union tactics to achieve their goals.  On the other, 100.00 per cent of Rs. 5 lakhs and above, 66.66 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs, 56.25 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs, 42.85 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs, 33.33 per cent of Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs, and 32.15 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 lakh income did not approve the trade union tactics by working journalists.

 

Table – 98

Reasonableness of Media Owners

Income group

Reasonable

Not reasonable

No response

Total

Below Rs.1.0 lakh

48

42.85%

48

57.15%

112

Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs

104

48.15%

112

51.85%

216

Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs

76

59.40%

52

40.60%

128

Rs. 3-4 lakhs

16

57.15%

12

42.85%

28

Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs

08

66.67%

04

33.33%

12

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

04

100.00%

04

Total

256

51.20%

228

45.60%

16

03.20%

500

100.00%

One hundred per cent of Rs. 5.0 lakhs and above, 66.67 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs, 59.40 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs and 57.15 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs found their employers reasonable while 57.15 per cent of Rs. 1.0 lakh, 51.85 per cent of Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs, 42.85 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs, 40.60 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs thought otherwise.

Table – 99

Acceptance of Collective Bargaining

Income group

Fundamental right

Not so

No response

Total

Below Rs.1.0 lakh

72

64.30%

32

28.55%

08

07.15%

112

Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs

168

77.80%

36

16.65%

12

05.55%

216

Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs

92

71.90%

36

28.10%

128

Rs. 3-4 lakhs

12

42.85%

16

57.15%

28

Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs

08

66.67%

04

33.33%

12

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

04

100.00%

04

Total

352

70.40%

128

25.60%

20

04.00%

500

100.00%

Fig: 21 Acceptance of Collective Bargaining

As to the issue of collective bargaining, 77.80 per cent of Rs. 1.2 lakhs, 71.90 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs. 66.67 per cent of Rs. 4.5 lakhs and 42.85% per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs believed that collective bargaining was their fundamental right, while 100.00 per cent of Rs. 5 lakhs and above, 57.15 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs and 33.33 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs did not accept this view.

Table – 100

Ethicality of Unionisation

Income group

Ethical

Unethical

No response

Total

Below Rs. 1.0 Lakhs

96

85.70%

12

10.70%

04

03.60%

112

Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs

204

94.45%

08

03.70%

04

01.85

216

Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs

116

90.65%

12

09.35%

128

Rs. 3-4 lakhs

16

57.15%

12

42.85%

28

Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs

08

66.67%

04

33.33%

12

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

04

04

Total

440

88.00%

52

10.40%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

 

On the question of ethicality of the working journalists resorting to unionization, 94.45 per cent of Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs, 90.65 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs, 85.70 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 lakh,   Rs. 66.67 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs and 57.15 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs considered it as ethical .  One hundred per cent  of respondents with an income of Rs. 5.0 lakhs and above, 42.85 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs and 33.33 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs felt the unionization was unethical.

Table 101

Protest Against Employers Response

Income group

Protested

Never

Total

Below Rs. 1.0 Lakhs

32

28.60%

80

71.40%

112

Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs

72

33.33%

144

66.67%

216

Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs

32

25.00%

96

75.00%

128

Rs. 3-4 lakhs

08

28.60%

20

71.40%

28

Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs

12

100.00%

12

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

04

100.00%

04

Total

144

28.80%

356

71.20%

500

100.00%

 

When it came to the question of protest against employers, 100 per cent each of Rs. 5.0 lakhs and above, Rs. 4-5 lakhs never protested.  Similarly, 75.00 per cent of Rs. 2-3 lakhs, 71.40 per cent each of Rs. 3-4 lakhs  and  below Rs. 1.0 lakh  besides  66.67 per cent of Rs. 1-2 lakhs.  On the other 33.33 per cent of Rs. 1-2 lakhs, 28.60 per cent each of below Rs. 1.0 lakhs,  Rs. 3-4 lakhs said they protested against employers in addition to 25.00 per cent of Rs. 2-3 lakhs.

 

 Table 102

Co-operation with Management Response

Income group

Will co-operate

Will not

No response

Total

Below Rs. 1.0 Lakhs

96

85.70%

04

03.60%

12

10.70%

112

Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs

192

88.90%

12

05.00%

12

05.55%

216

Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs

128

100.00%

128

Rs. 3-4 lakhs

28

100.00%

28

Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs

08

66.67%

04

33.33%

12

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

04

100.00%

04

Total

456

91.20%

16

03.20%

28

05.60%

500

100.00%

 

In times of financial crisis, 100.00 per cent each of Rs. 5.00 lakhs and above, Rs. 3-4 lakhs and Rs. 2-3 lakhs, 88.90 per cent of Rs. 1-2 lakhs, 85.70 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 lakhs and 66.67 per cent of Rs. 4-5 lakhs said they would co-operate with the management, while 33.33 per cent of Rs. 4-5 lakhs did not offer any response.

Table – 103

Fudging of Accounts by Management Response

Income group

Do not fudge

Do fudge

No response

Total

Below Rs. 1.0 Lakhs

60

53.60%

36

32.10%

16

14.30%

112

Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs

84

38.90%

88

40.70%

44

20.40%

216

Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs

52

40.60%

60

46.90%

16

12.50%

128

Rs. 3-4 lakhs

24

85.70%

04

14.30%

28

Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs

04

33.33%

08

66.67%

12

Rs. 5.0 lakhs and above

04

100.00%

04

Total

228

45.60%

196

39.20%

76

15.20%

500

100.00%

 

Do media owners fudge the accounts?  The opinion was divided.   Those who said that the accounts were not fudged included 53.60 per cent of below Rs. 1.00 lakh, 100.00 per cent of Rs. 5.0 lakh and above, 85.70 per cent of Rs.3 – 4 lakhs and 38.90 per cent of Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs.  Those who suspected the fudging were 66.67 per cent of Rs. 4-5 lakhs, 46.90 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs.  40.70 per cent of Rs. 1-2 lakhs and 32.10 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 lakh.

 

 

Table – 104

The Media that Pay Better Wages Response

Income group

Print

Electronic

Not sure

Total

Below Rs. 1.0 Lakhs

76

67.85%

32

28.55%

04

03.60%

112

Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs

144

66.67%

72

33.33%

216

Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs

76

59.40%

52

40.60%

128

Rs. 3-4 lakhs

24

85.70%

04

14.30%

28

Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs

12

100.00%

12

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

04

100.00%

04

 

Total

336

67.20%

160

32.00%

04

00.80%

500

100.00%

 

Between print and electronic media, 100.00 per cent each of Rs. 5.00 lakh and above and Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs considered print media paid better wages followed by 85.70 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs, 67.85 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 lakh, 66.67 per cent of Rs. 1.2 lakhs and 59.40 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs .  40.60 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs, 33.33 per cent of Rs.1 -2 lakhs, and 28.55 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 lakh preferred electronic media for better wages.

Table – 105

 Better Paymasters  Private Vs Government Organisations

Income group

Response

No response

Total

Government

Private

Below Rs. 1.0 Lakhs

56

50.00%

52

46.40%

04

03.60%

112

Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs

128

59.25%

84

38.90%

04

01.85%

216

Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs

52

40.60%

76

59.40%

128

Rs. 3-4 lakhs

16

57.15%

12

42.85%

28

Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs

08

66.67%

04

33.33%

12

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

04

100.00%

04

Total

260

52.00%

232

46.40%

08

01.60%

500

100%

 

Among various income groups, 66.67 per cent of Rs. 4-5 lakhs, 59.25 per cent of Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs, 57.15 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs, 50.00 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 lakh and 40.60 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs considered government organizations as better paymasters.  However, 59.40 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs, 100.00 per cent of Rs. 5.0 lakhs and above, 46.40 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 lakh, 42.85 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs, 38.90 per cent of Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs and 33.33 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs considered private organizations as better paymasters.

 

Table – 106

Advantage of FDI in Media Sector

Income group

Better Wages

Status quo

No response

Total

Below Rs. 1.0 Lakhs

76

67.85%

32

28.60%

04

03.55%

112

Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs

96

44.45%

116

53.70%

04

01.85%

216

Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs

92

71.90%

36

28.10%

128

Rs. 3-4 lakhs

24

85.70%

04

14.30%

28

Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs

12

100%

12

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

04

100.00%

04

Total

300

60.00%

192

38.40%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

 

The main advantage of FDI in the media sector was better wges, thus opined 100.00 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs, 85.70 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs, 71.90 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs, 67.85 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 lakh and 44.45 per cent of Rs  1 – 2 lakhs.  One hundred per cent of Rs. 5.0 lakhs and above and 53.70 per cent of Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs did not see any benefit accruing out of FDI in the media sector.

Table 107

Activeness of the State Union of Journalists

Income group

Very Active

Not Active

Cannot say

Total

Below Rs. 1.0 Lakhs

84

75.00%

20

17.85%

08

07.15%

112

Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs

184

85.20%

20

09.25%

12

05.55%

216

Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs

88

68.75%

24

18.75%

16

12.50%

128

Rs. 3-4 lakhs

24

85.70%

04

14.30%

28

Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs

08

66.67%

04

33.33%

12

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

04

100.00%

04

Total

392

78.40%

72

14.40%

36

07.20%

500

100.00%

 

 

 

Fig: 22 Activeness of the State Union of Journalists  

Most respondents belonging to various income groups said that the Kerala Union of Working Journalists was very active.  One hundred per cent of Rs. 5.0 lakhs and above, 85.70 per cent of Rs. 3-4 lakhs, 85.20 per cent of Rs. 1-2 lakhs, 75.00 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 lakh and 68.75 per cent of Rs. 2-3 lakhs were of this opinion.  Only 33.33 per cent of Rs. 4-5 lakhs had a different view.

Table 108

Reasons for Union inactivity

Income group

Corporatisation of  media

Better wages facilities

Intermedia movement

Other

Total

Below Rs. 1.0 Lakhs

04

20.00%

16

80.00%

20

Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs

08

40.00%

08

40.00%

04

20.00%

20

Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs

16

66.66%

04

16.67%

04

16.67%

24

Rs. 3-4 lakhs

04

100.00%

04

Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs

04

100.00%

04

Rs. 5 lakhs and above

0

Total

28

38.88%

28

38.88%

12

16.68%

04

05.56%

72

100.00%

 

Those who said that KUWJ was inactive offered three reasons mainly.  80.00 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 lakh and 40.00 per cent of Rs. 1-2 lakhs ascribed it to better facilities while 66.66 per cent of Rs. 2-3 lakhs and 40.00% of Rs. 1-2 lakhs cited corporatisation of media.  Intermedia movement was identified by 100.00 per cent each of Rs. 3-4 lakhs and Rs. 4-5 lakhs.

Professional Work-wise Response

Table- 109

Acceptance of Wage Board Recommendations

Category

Accepted

Not accepted

No response

Total

Reporter

180

83.30%

32

14.80%

04

01.90%

216

Editorial staff

248

87.30%

32

11.30%

04

01.40%

284

Total

428

85.60%

64

12.80%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

 

The journalists were divided into mainly two categories – reporters and editors.  As to the acceptance of wage board recommendations, 83.30 per cent of reporters and 87.30 per cent of the editorial staff contended that the wage board recommendations were accepted by their organizations, while 14.80 per cent of reporters and 11.30 per cent of the editorial staff reported in the negative.

Table 110

Implementation Level of Wage Board Recommendations

Category

Totally

Response partially

No response

Total

Reporters

120

55.55%

84

38.90%

12

05.55%

216

Editorial staff

148

52.10%

132

46.50%

04

01.40%

284

Total

268

53.60%

216

43.20%

16

03.20%

500

100.00%

 

As to the level of implementation of the wage board recommendations, 55.55 per cent of reporters and 52.10 per cent of the editorial staff opined that these were implemented totally, while 46.50 per cent of the editorial staff and 38.90 per cent of the reporters pointed out at the partial implementations of the recommendations.

Table – 111

Reasons for Non-Implementation

Category

Does not have revenue

Competition

Heavy investment

Financial loss

Does not have revenue and financial loss

Competition and financial loss

Total

Reporters

88

40.75%

06

2.80%

16

07.40%

102

47.20%

04

01.85%

216

Editorial Staff

88

31.00%

06

02.10%

08

2.80%

178

62.70%

04

1.40%

284

Total

176

35.20%

12

02.40%

24

04.80%

280

56.00%

04

0.80%

04

0.80%

500

100.00%

 

Lack of revenue was the reason ascribed by 40.75 per cent of reporters and 31.00 per cent of the editorial staff.  Lack of revenue as well as financial loss could muster the support of 47.20 per cent of reporters and 62.70 per cent of the editorial staff.

Table – 112

Opinion on Contract System of Employment

Category

Response

No response

Total

Acceptable

Not acceptable

Reporters

48

22.20%

164

75.90%

04

01.90%

216

Editorial Staff

92

32.40%

192

67.60%

284

Total

140

28.00%

356

71.20%

04

0.80%

500

100.00%

 

With regard to the implementation of the contract system in media houses, 75.90 per cent of reporters and 67.60 per cent of the editorial staff opposed it.  Only 22.20 per cent of reporters and 32.40 per cent of the editorial favoured the contract system.

Table – 113

ILL-Effects of the Contract System

Category

Affects job

Security

Response

Affects morale

Breeds pressure of uncertainty

Affects organizational loyalty

Affects job security morale

Reporters

114

52.80%

24

11.10%

20

09.25%

12

05.55%

18

08.30%

Editorial Staff

140

49.30%

28

09.90%

48

16.90%

12

04.25%

06

02.10%

Total

254

50.80%

52

10.40%

68

13.60%

24

04.80%

24

04.80%

 

On the ill-effects of the contract system, 52.80 per cent of reporters and 49.30 per cent of the editorial staff believed that it would affect their job security.

Affects job security, breeds pressure of uncertainty

Affects job security, affects organizational loyalty

Affects job security morale, and breeds pressure of uncertainty

Affects job security, morale, organizational loyalty and breeds pressure of uncertainty

No opinion

Total

12

05.55%

06

02.80%

10

04.65%

216

06

02.10%

38

13.35%

06

02.10%

284

18

03.60%

06

01.20%

48

09.60%

06

01.20%

500

100.00%

 

The next highest percentage among reporters (11.10 per cent) was that affected their morale while 16.90 per cent of the editorial staff felt that it would breed pressure of uncertainty.

Table – 114

Merits of the Contract System

Category

Enhances competitiveness

Improves quality

Response

Performance is

recognized

Introduces Professionalism

Enhances competitiveness, improves quality

Provides Incent

ives

Builds corporate ethos

Reporters

32

14.80%

48

22.20%

30

13.90%

32

14.80%

32

14.80%

Editorial Staff

46

16.20%

62

21.80%

16

05.60%

14

04.95%

46

16.20%

14

04.95%

14

04.95%

78

15.60%

110

22.00%

46

09.20%

14

02.80%

46

09.20%

46

09.20%

46

09.20%

 

Among the respondents selected, 22.20 per cent of reporters and 21.80 per cent of the editorial staff stated that the contract system would improve quality of the performance, while 14.80 per cent of the reporters and 16.20 per cent of the editorial staff opined that it would improve the competitiveness of the journalists 10.50 per cent of the editorial staff said it would improve quality, competitiveness, recognition of performance and introduce professionalism. 16.20 of them also agreed that it would recognize their performance.

Enhances competitiveness provides incentives

Enhances competitiveness, improves quality, performance is recognized

Enhances competitiveness, provides incentives, performance is recognized

Improves quality, performance is recognized, introduces

professionalism

Enhances competitiveness’, improves quality, performance is recognized, introduces professionalism

No opinion

Total

14

06.50%

14

06.50%

14

06.50%

216

14

04.95%

14

04.95%

30

10.50%

14

04.95%

284

14

02.80%

14

02.80%

14

02.80%

30

06.00%

14

02.80%

28

05.60%

500

100.0 %

Table-115

Membership of Union

Category

IFWJ

KUWJ

OTHER

Not a member

Total

Reporters

12

05.55%

136

62.95%

08

03.70%

60

27.80%

216

Editorial Staff

44

15.50%

164

57.75%

76

26.75%

284

Total

56

11.20%

300

60.00%

08

01.60%

136

27.20%

500

100.00%

 

Among reporters, 62.95 per cent of them were members of the KUWJ followed by 57.75 per cent of the editorial staff.  15.50 per cent of the editorial staff had the membership of IFWJ while 27.80 per cent of reporters and 26.75 per cent of the editorial staff kept themselves away from any of the unions.  Only 03.70 per cent of reporters said that they belonged to some other union, possibly NUJ (National Union of Journalists)

Table 116

Protective Power of Unions

Category

Response

Total

Can protect

           Cannot
Reporters

176

81.50%

40

18.50%

216

Editorial Staff

224

78.90%

60

21.10%

284

Total

400

80.00%

100

20.00%

500

100.00%

Fig: 23 Protective Power of Unions

About 81.50 per cent of reporters and 78.90 per cent of the editorial staff believe that the unions can protect the interest of working journalists while 18.50 per cent of reporters and 21.10 per cent of the editorial staff did not think so.

Table- 117

Acceptance of Trade Union Activities

Category

Response

Total

Acceptable

Not acceptable

Reporters

128

59.25%

88

40.75%

216

Editorial Staff

168

59.15%

116

40.85%

284

Total

296

59.20%

204

40.80%

500

100.00%

 

As to the trade union activities, 59.25 per cent of reporters and 59.15 per cent of the editorial staff accepted them.  However, 40.75% per cent of reporters and 40.85 per cent of the editorial were not in favour of trade union activities.  The difference between the two groups were not much.

Table 118

Reasonableness of Media Owners

Category

Response

No opinion

Total

Reasonable

Not reasonable

Reporters

124

57.40%

92

42.60%

216

Editorial Staff

132

46.50%

136

47.90%

16

05.60%

284

 

Total

256

51.20%

228

45.60%

16

03.20%

500

100.00%

 

A majority of 57.40 per cent of reporters and about 46.50 per cent of the editorial staff found the media owners reasonable while 42.60  per cent reporters and 47.90 per cent of the editorial staff did not think so.  05.60 per cent of the editorial staff refrained from making any comment on the reasonableness of the media owners.

Table 119

Acceptance of Collective Bargaining

Category

Response

No opinion

Total

Fundamental

right

Not so

Reporters

132

61.10%

80

37.05%

04

01.85%

216

Editorial Staff

220

77.50%

48

16.90%

16

05.60%

284

Total

352

70.40%

128

25.60%

20

04.00%

500

100.00

 

About 77.50 per cent of the editorial staff and 61.10 per cent of the reporters affirmed that collective bargaining was their fundamental right.  37.05 per cent of reporters and 16.90 per cent of the editorial staff did not think so.  01.85 per cent of reporters and 05.60 per cent of the editorial staff refrained from offering any opinion.

Table-120

Ethicality of Unionsation

Category

Response

No comment

Total

Ethica

Unethical

Reporters

192

88.90%

24

11.10%

216

Editorial Staff

248

87.30%

28

09.85%

08

02.85%

284

Total

440

88.00%

52

10.40%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

 

As to the ethicality of unionism, 88.90 per cent of the reporters and 87.30 per cent of the editorial staff considered unionization as ethical.  Only 11.10 per cent of the reporters and 09.85 per cent of the editorial staff averred that it was unethical.  Those who did not respond constituted a microscopic minority of 02.85 per cent from the editorial staff.

Table-121

Protest against Employers

Category

Response

Total

Protested

Never
Reporters

60

27.80%

156

72.20%

216

Editorial Staff

84

29.60%

200

70.40%

284

Total

144

28.80%

356

71.20%

500

100.00%

 

Among reporters, 72.20 per cent and 70.40 per cent of the editorial staff said they never protested against their employers concerning any issue.  About 27.80 per cent of the reporters and 29.60 per cent of the editorial staff agreed that they had protested against the employers sometime or the other.

Table- 122

Justifiability of Demand for Higher Wages

Category

Response

Not justifiable

Total

No response

Justifiable

Reporters

00

80

37.00%

136

63.00%

216

Editorial Staff

04

01.40%

108

38.00%

172

60.60%

284

Total

04

00.80%

188

37.60%

308

61.60%

500

100.00%

 

With regard to the justifiability of the demand for higher wages, 63.00 per cent of reporters and 60.60 per cent of the editorial staff said that a demand for higher wages is not justifiable in times of financial problems while 38.00 per cent of the editorial staff and 37.00 per cent of the reporters considered it as justifiable.

Table-123

Co-operation with Management

Category

Response

No response Total

Will co-operate

Will not

Reporters

212

98.15%

04

01.85%

216

Editorial Staff

244

85.90%

12

04.20%

28

09.90%

284

Total

456

91.20%

16

03.20%

28

05.60%

500

100.00%

 

The response for co-operation with the management in times of financial crunch was positive with 98.15 per cent of reporters and 85.90 per cent of the editorial staff.  Only 04.20 per cent of the latter and 01.85 per cent of the former replied in the negative.  However, 09.90 per cent of the editorial staff did not provide any kind of opinion.

Table-124

Fudging of Accounts

Category

Response

No response

Total

Do not fudge

Do fudge

Reporters

100

46.30%

84

38.90%

32

14.80%

216

 

Editorial Staff

128

45.05%

112

39.45%

44

15.50%

284

 

Total

228

45.60%

196

39.20%

76

15.20%

500

100.00%

 

On fudging of accounts, 46.30 per cent of reporters and 45.05 per cent of the editorial staff were sure that their employers did not fudge the accounts, while 38.90 per cent of the reporters and 39.45 per cent of the editorial staff believed so.  However, 15.50 per cent of the editorial staff and 14.80 per cent of the reporters did not offer any opinion.

Table -125

Medium that Pays Better Wages

Category

Response

No response

Total

Print

Electronic

Reporters

136

62.95%

80

37.05%

216

Editorial Staff

200

70.40%

80

20.20%

04

01.40%

284

Total

336

67.20%

160

32.00%

04

00.80%

500

100.00%

 

Between print and electronic media, 62.95 per cent of reporters and 70.40 per cent of the editorial staff voted to, print as the medium that pays better wages while 37.05 per cent of the reporters and 20.20 per cent of the editorial staff identified electronic media as better for wages than print.

Table-126

The Sector that Paid Better Response

Category

Response

Cannot say

Total

Government

Private

Reporters

92

42.60%

120

55.55%

04

01.85%

216

Editorial Staff

168

59.15%

112

39.45%

04

01.40%

284

Total

260

52.00%

232

46.40%

08

01.60%

500

100.00%

 

As to the sector that paid better wages than others, 42.60 per cent of reporters and 59.15 per cent of the editorial staff identified the government sector.  On the other hand, 55.55 per cent of reporters and 39.45 per cent of the editorial staff opted for the private sector.  Of course , the number of non – respondents was very less.

Table-127

Advantage of Foreign Direct Investment in Media Sector

Category

Response

No response

Total

Better wages

Status Quo

Reporters

144

66.67%

72

33.33%

216

Editorial Staff

156

54.95%

120

42.25%

08

01.60%

284

Total

300

60.00%

192

38.40%

08

01.60%

500

10.00%

 

When asked about the advantage of foreign direct investment in the media sector, 66.67 per cent of reporters and 54.95 per cent of the editorial staff expected better wages, while 33.33 per cent of reporters and 42.25 per cent of the editorial staff did not expect any change in the system.

Table 128

Activeness of the State Union of Journalists

Category

Response

Cannot say

Total

Very active

Not active

Reporters

172

79.65%

32

14.80%

12

05.55%

216

 

Editorial Staff

220

77.45%

40

14.10%

24

08.45%

284

 

Total

392

78.40%

72

14.40%

36

07.20%

500

100.00%

 

79.65 per cent of reporters and 77.45 per cent of the editorial staff found the state union of working journalists as very active.  Only 14.80 per cent of reporters and 14.10 per cent of the editorial staff felt otherwise.  A minuscule percentage of 05.55 of reporters and 08.45 of the editorial staff failed to provide any reply.

Table – 129

Reasons for Union Inactivity

Category

Media corporatisation

Response

Other

No response

Total

Better

wages

and

facilities

Intermedia movement

Reporters

16

44.45%

12

33.33%

04

11.11%

04

11.11%

36

Editorial Staff

12

33.33%

16

44.45%

08

22.22%

36

Total

28

38.90%

28

38.90%

12

14.60%

04

72

Among reporters, who pointed out the inactivity of the state union 44.45 per cent of them and 33.33 per cent of the editorial staff identified corporatisation of media as the main reason for the inactivity of the state union of working journalists, while 33.33 per cent of reporters and 44.45 per cent of the editorial staff ticked better wages and facilities as the main reason.  22.22 per cent of the editorial staff opted for the response, intermedia movement.

REMARKS AND CONSLUSIONS

Canker of distrust prevails among the journalists and prevents a minority from coming to an open discussion of their problems.  But most of them spoke with surprising candour and were very co-operative.  Most of the journalists (85%) wanted the Wage Board recommendations to be implemented.  The Wage Board recommendations are not implemented because some organizations do not have the revenue and some others are running at a loss.  About the contract system prevailing in many Press organization responses were varied.  Majority opined that the contract system was not acceptable because it affected job security and organizational loyalty and also bread pressure of uncertainity while a minority favoured the system by saying that it enhanced competitiveness, provided incentives and thus improved quality and thereby enhanced the spirit of professionalism.  Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) has larger membership than Indian Federation of Working Journalists (IFWJ) in Kerala, the ratio being 6:1.  Nearly eighty percentage of the journalists believe that the unions are capable of protecting their interests, but a good number (41%) do not approve the trade union tactics.  Nearly half of the journalists think that the media owners are unreasonable.  Most of them believe in collective bargaining and think that the efficality of unionisation is ethical.  Majority of the journalists (71.2%) have never protested against their employers and strangely 61.6% of them consider the demand for higher wages unreasonable.  This is a very interesting phenomenon when evaluated in the context of the virulent political scenario of the state where everyone at the least provocation crowds at the street corners to protect ones rights and privileges.  The employees are ready to co-operate fully with the management but they opined that majority of managements fudged accounts.  They favoured foreign investment in the media sector as it provided better wages.  While the middle group, aged between 30-50 years favoured the Wage Board recommendations, the young joined with the old to show little enthusiasm in the issue. The reason for the non-implementation of the Wage Board recommendations, most of them, attributed as paucity of revenue. Journalists of the age group 30-50 were found to be more active in the union activities, which was surprising, for one expected the young to be more enthusiastic.  Probably the insecurity of the job prevents them from taking an active roll in trade unionism.  The women employees’ response to some of the questions was very negative.  It is not very surprising because their number is very small and most of the places they remain isolated.  But they also hope for a better future.  Irrespective of gender and age, most journalists favoured unionism in journalism.  They wanted the contract system to be stopped and the Wage Board recommendations to be implemented.

 

Chapter-6

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

On the whole, the responses were not extreme in character.  The general overall computation also matched virtually with the computation of age, sex and functional responsibility.  Among respondents surveyed, 85.60 per cent of the journalists in Kerala accepted the Wage Board recommendations.  Only 12.80 per cent of journalists were against it.  Of the total respondents, 53.60 per cent said that the Wage Board recommendation was totally implemented.  Upper age groups were of the same view.   The sex wise view was that 87.27 per cent of men and 73.33 per cent of women accepted the Wage Board recommendation and 56.40 per cent of men and 33.33 per cent of women said it was implemented totally.

In education wise classification, all the educational groups accepted the recommendation by a majority and also confirmed its total implementation. Of course, the degree holders (56.50%), Plus Two educated (62.50%), SSLC educated (50.00%), PG diploma holders (58.80%) and diploma holders and doctorates (50.00% each) said that it was implemented partially.  Similar was the case with various income groups.  All the upper group income respondents also had the view of total implementation of the Wage Board recommendations. Among the professionals 83.30 per cent of reporters and 87.30 per cent of the editorial staff agreed that the Wage Board recommendation was implemented by their organization. The percentages for total implementation were reporters (55.55%) and the editorial staff (52.10%)

When it came to the non-implementation of the recommendations, several reasons were put forward.  Strangely, all the respondents answered this question.  Financial loss was the reason cited by 56.00 per cent of the total respondents while 35.20 per cent identified lack of revenue as the main reason.  In the age wise classification, 100.00 per cent of those who were 60 years and above, 61.90 per cent of 40-50 years, 55.68 per cent of 30-40 years and 50.00 per cent of the group of 50-60 years ascribed it to financial loss.  56.82 per cent of men and 50.00 per cent of women cited the same reason.  In the education wise classification, 100.00 per cent of SSLC educated 100.00 per cent Plus Two, 100.00 per cent of each of diploma holders and others, 83.33 per cent of Ph.D holders and 67.80 per cent of post-graduates also had the similar view.  Among the income groups, 100.00 per cent of Rs. 5 lakhs and above, 71.90 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs 61.10 per cent of Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs and 57.15 per cent of Rs. 3-4 lakhs expressed the same view. So also 62.70 per cent of the editorial staff and 47.20 per cent of reporters.

On the question of introduction of the contract system in media organisations, only 28.00 per cent of the respondents stated their acceptance while a great majority of 71.20 per cent expressed their disagreement to the contract system.  However, when it come to sex-wise evaluation, 30.00 per cent of men accepted the contract system and only 13.04 per cent of  women supported the idea.  In the education-wise classification, 50.00 per cent of the SSLC category and 39.10 per cent of the Plus Two educated favoured the contract system, while 83.30 per cent of diploma holders and 78.00 per cent of post graduates were vociferously opposed to the contract system.  When different income groups were considered, the upper income groups of Rs.5.00 lakhs and above (100.00%) and Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs (71.45%) welcomed it.

The ill-effects and benefits of the contract system, 50.80 per cent of total respondents said that it would affect job security while 13.60 per cent said it would breed pressure of uncertainty.  In the age wise categorization of responses, 75.00 per cent of the 26-30 year group, 56.82 per cent of the 30-40 year group and 41.67 per cent of the 40-50 year group subscribed to their job security while one hundred per cent of 60 years and above stated that it would affect the employee morale.  Similarly, 48.64 per cent of men and 66.67 per cent of women subscribed to the view that it would affect their feeling of job security.   Education- wise, 50.00 per cent of plus two, 66.67 per cent of diploma holders, 61.00 per cent of post-graduates and 47.00 per cent of PG diplomas also stated this, while 37.50 per cent from the category of others stated that it would affect organizational loyalty.  Among income categories, 75.00 per cent of below Rs. 1.00 lakh,  60.00 per cent of Rs. 1-2 lakhs and 31.25 per cent of Rs. 2-3 lakhs held the view that it would affect job security.  However, 42.85 per cent each of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs said it would affect employee morale and organizational loyalty as well.  One hundred per cent of upper income group of Rs. 5 lakhs and above and 66.67 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs said that it would affect job security as well as breed pressure of uncertainty.

On the question of merits of the contract system, 22.00 per cent of the respondents opined that it would improve the quality of performance while 15.60 per cent of them said it would enhance competitiveness.  In the age wise classification, 20.00 per cent each of respondents from 20-30 years agreed that it would improve the quality of performance and introduce professionalism.  20-45 per cent of 30-40 years opted for competitiveness and 27.27 per cent, improves quality.  One hundred per cent of 60 years and above, agreed that it enhanced competitiveness and introduced professionalism. 44.12 per cent of 50-60 years said that it would enhance competitiveness and improve quality.

In sex wise response, 50.00 per cent of women said the contract system would improve the quality of performance and provide incentives.  However 20.00 per cent of men agreed that it would improve quality and 17.73 per cent of them opted for the enhancement of competitiveness.  In educational categories,50.00 per cent of Plus Two and 26.30 per cent of post-graduates said that the contract system would enhance competitiveness while 100.00 per cent of diploma holders, 43.50 per cent of degree holders and 25.00 per cent Plus Two educated held the view that it would improve the quality of performance.  Among Ph.D. holders, 41.67 per cent said that it would introduce professionalism while 58.33 per cent  stated that it would enhance competitiveness and improve the quality of performance.  Of the category of others, 87.50 per cent, did not offer any opinion, which appeared strange.  Among various income groups, 71.40 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs said that the contract system would enhance competitiveness, 26.80 per cent of below Rs. 1 lakh and 37.05 per cent between Rs. 1 and 2 lakhs opted for quality improvement.  One hundred per cent of the respondents of Rs.4 – 5 lakhs and 50.00 per cent of those of Rs. 5.00 lakhs and above stated that it would build corporate ethos.   When it came to the functional categories 22.20 per cent of reporters and 21.80 per cent of the editorial staff believed that it would improve the quality of performance, while 14.80 per cent and 16.20 per cent of these groups respectively voted for enhancement of competitiveness.  Again 16.20 per cent of the editorial staff stated that it would help recognize the performance, while 14.80 per cent of reporters stated it would introduce professionalism.

As far as the membership of journalists’ unions was concerned, the overwhelming response was in favour of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists with 60.00 per cent of respondents being its members.  However, strangely a good number (27.20%) of journalists refused to associate themselves with any of the unions. Age wise, 100.00 per cent of the higher age group of 60 years and above belonged to this category followed by 40.00 per cent of 20-30 years.  68.20 per cent of 30-40 years, 66.60 years of 40 – 50 years, and 58.80 per cent of 50 – 60 years belonged to the Kerala Union of  Working Journalists.  So also 35.00 per cent of 20-30 years.

Sex-wise 61.36 per cent of men and 50.00 per cent of women had the membership of KUWJ.  On the other hand, 50.00 per cent of women did not belong to any Union. Education wise, 50.00 per cent  of SSLC educated, 52.20 per cent of degree  holders, 66.65 per cent of diploma holders, 66.10 per cent of post-graduates,. 58.80 per cent of post-graduate diploma holders, 66.66 per cent of Ph.Ds. and 50.00 per cent of the other category affiliated themselves to KUWJ.  Among income categories, one hundred per cent of Rs. 5 lakhs and above, 71.90 per cent of Rs. 2-3 lakhs, 71.40 per cent of Rs.3 – 4 lakhs, 66.67% per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs, and 62.95 per cent of Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs had the membership of KUWJ.  Only 28.60 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs had the membership of IFWJ,. for which KUWJ is an affiliate.  64.30 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 Lakh, 33.35 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs and 22.25 per cent of Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs were not members of any union.

Most Working Journalists believe that unions can protect their interests.  A vast majority of 80.00 per cent of respondents asserted so.  Only 20.00 per cent of them said ‘no’. In all age groups, the response was positive as to the power of unions.  One hundred per cent of 60 years and above, 88.20 per cent of 50 – 60 years, 85.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years, and 78.60 per cent of 40 – 50 years led the groups.  Only among 30 – 40 years, 25.00 per cent of the respondents said that they did not believe in the power of working journalists union to protect their interests.  79.09 per cent of men and 86.67 per cent of women believed in the protective power of the unions.  In educational categories, 50.00 per cent of Ph.D. holders and 34.80 per cent of degree holders were not sure of the protective power of the unions. So also 23.50 per cent of post-graduate diploma holders.

Among various income categories, 100.00 per cent of Rs. 5 lakhs and above, 96.40 per cent below Rs. 1.00 lakh and 81.25 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs believed in the Unions’ power to protect their interests.  On the contrary, 33.33 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs and 28.60 per cent of Rs, 3 – 4 lakhs held a skeptical view of union power. Two extremes, the highest income groups of Rs. 5.00 lakhs and above and the lowest income group of below Rs. 1.00 lakh had trust in the protective power of the unions of working journalists.  The question of acceptance of trade union tactics had divided the fraternity of journalists into two. Those who accepted constituted 59.20 per cent of respondents and those who did not 40.80           per cent.  Among various age groups, 100.00 per cent of 60 years and above and 65.90 per cent of 30-40 years led others in accepting trade union tactics.  However, 47.61 per cent of 40 – 50- years and 40.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years did not favour trade union tactics. Similarly, 40.91 per cent of men and 40.00 per cent women did not accept trade union tactics.

One hundred per cent of SSLC educated, 75.00 per cent of plus two, 83.30 per cent of diploma holders and 75.00 per cent of the category of others did not show any hesitation in accepting trade union activities or tactics while 66.70 per cent of Ph.Ds and 58.80 per cent of post-graduate diploma holders in addition to 44.10 per cent are not in favour of them. One can safely assume that respondents with more educational qualifications disfavour trade union tactics in media organizations.

Perhaps, the same assumption can be had from the higher income categories of Rs. 5.00 lakhs and above (100.00%) and Rs. 4-5 lakhs (66.67%), while the lower income category of below Rs. 1.00 lakh and Rs. 1 and 2 lakhs, (67.85% and 66.67% respectively) approved the trade union tactics.  In other words, education and income are correlated with acceptance of trade union tactics.

As to the reasonableness of the media owners, respondents were almost equally divided with 51.20 per cent accepting the owners’ reasonableness and 45.60 per cent, not accepting this view.  The age groups had their responses thus: one hundred per cent of higher age group of 60 years and above and 64.70% of 50 – 60 years found the media owners reasonable while 57.10 per cent of 40 – 50 years and 43.20 per cent of 30 – 40 years did not subscribe to this view.  We can draw the conclusion that middle age groups find their owners unreasonable towards employee’s demands.  More women (66.67%) than men (49.09%) found the media owners reasonable to employee is demands.

In terms of education, one hundred per cent of SSLC educated, 75.00 per cent of others, 66.70 per cent of Ph.D holders, 52.95 per cent of PG diploma holders and 52.20 per cent of degree holders doubted the reasonableness of the employers.  Here we can observe that both less educated (SSLC) and highly educated (Ph.D) are suspecting the reasonableness of media employers.

Among different income categories, one hundred per cent of Rs. 5.0 lakhs and above, and 66.67 per cent of Rs,. 4-5 lakhs found their employers reasonable.  On the contrary, the lower income groups of below Rs. 1.0 lakh and Rs. 1-2 lakhs (57.15% and 51.85% respectively) had found their employers unreasonable.

For 70.40 per cent of respondents, collective bargaining for better service conditions was their fundamental right.  Only one fourth of the total respondents said that it was not so.  The latter view was supported by 50.00 per cent of 60 years and above and 35.30 per cent of 50-60 years.  The other age groups, especially 75.00 per cent of 30-40 years and 73.80 per cent  of  40-50 years considered it as a fundamental right.  Sex wise, 71.82 per cent of men and 60.00 per cent of women also subscribed to the same view.

Among educational categories, one hundred per cent each of SSLC educated and the other group considered it as a fundamental right.  However, 37.50 per cent of plus 2, 34.80 per cent of degree holders and 33.30 per cent  of Ph.Ds believed that it was not a fundamental right.

Among different income groups, 77.80 per cent of Rs. 1-2 lakhs, 71.90 per cent  of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs and 66.67 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs agreed that collective bargaining was a fundamental right, but 100.00 per cent of Rs. 5.00 lakh and above and 57.15 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs did not accept this view.  In functional categories, 77.50 per cent of the editorial staff and 61.10 per cent of reporters stated that collective bargaining was their fundamental right.  Yet a large chunk of reporters (37.05%) expressed the contrary view.

The ethicality of unionization among journalists is debated endlessly even now.  A great majority of 88.00 per cent of respondents declared it as ethical.  Age wise, 100.00 per cent of 60 years and above, 90.90 per cent of 30-40 years, 90.00 per cent of 20-30 years, 85.70 per cent of 40-50 years and 82.40 per cent of 50-60 years were of this opinion.  More women (93.33 per cent) than men (87.27 per cent) have justified the unionization on ethical grounds.  In educational groups, 100.00 per cent of SSLC educated, 100.00 per cent of diploma holders, 94.10 per cent of post-graduate diploma holders, 91.30 per cent degree holders 86.40 per cent of post-graduates and 83.30 per cent of Ph,.D. holders supported the view in addition to 75.00 per cent each of plus 2 and others.

Among different income groups, the voices of dissent could be heard.  One hundred per cent of the upper income group of Rs. 5 lakhs and above, 42.85 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs and 33.33 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs held the view that unionization was unethical while 85.70 per cent SSLC educated, 94.45 per cent of plus two and 90.65 per cent of Rs. 2-3 lakhs held it as ethical.  We can observe that lower income groups strongly supported the unionization.

Similarly, 88.90 per cent of reporters and 87.30 per cent of the editorial staff supported the view of ethicality of unionization.  Not many opposed the union activities for better service conditions of journalists. Protests are a form of collective bargaining.  However, protests have become rare due to factors of corporatisation and globalization.  More than 71.00 per cent of media persons stated that they never protested against the actions of their owners.  Among different age groups, the younger age group of 20-30 years, to the tune of 85.00 per cent belonged to this category, preceded by the eldest age group of 60 years and above (100.00%) only the age group of 50-60 years had the highest per centage  of 35.30 per cent who had protested against employers followed by 34.10 per cent of 30-40 years.  In the sex wise categorization, 80.00 per cent of men and 70.00 per cent of women said that they never participated any kind of protest against their employers.   Among educational groups, one hundred per cent each of SSLC educated and others did not take part in any protest against their employers.  The Ph.D holders were equally divided.  37.50 per cent of Plus Two educated and 39.10 per cent of degree holders in addition to 35.30 per cent of post-graduate diploma holders protested against their employers.  In the income groups, higher income groups of Rs. 5.0 lakhs and Rs. 4.5 lakhs never resorted to protest against employers.  However, 33.33 per cent of Rs. 1-2 lakhs and 28.60 per cent each of below Rs. 1.0 lakh and Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs said that they protested against their employers.  Only 27.80 per cent of reporters and 29.60 per cent of the editorial staff belonged to this category.  It can be observed that higher income does not encourage media persons to participate in protest.    Justifiability of the demand for higher wages when there was financial crisis was another question posed to journalists in Kerala.  Only 37.60 per cent of them justified the demand while 61.60 per cent did not find it justifiable.  In terms of age groups, 50.00 per cent of SSLC educated and 41.20 per cent of 50-60 years claimed the demand justifiable.  However, 100.00 per cent of 60 years and above, 64.30 per cent of 40-50 years and 63.60 per cent of 30-40 years found it unjustified seeking higher wages when there was financial crisis in the media house. 53.33 per cent of women and 35.46 per cent of men said it was justified while 63.64 per cent of men and 46.67 per cent of women held the contrary view of unjustifiability.

In the educational categories, 75.00 per cent each of others and plus two,  50.00 per cent each of diploma holders and SSLC educated, 66.70 per cent of Ph.D holders, 64.40 per cent of post-graduates and 60.90 per cent of degree holders did not approve the demand for higher wages.  50.00 per cent each of SSLC educated and diploma holders and 52.90 per cent of PG diploma holders justified the demand for higher wages.

Among income categories selected, one hundred per cent each of higher income groups of Rs. 5 lakhs and above and Rs. 4-5 lakhs, 75.00 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs  and 71.40 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs disapproved the demand for higher wages by media person.  Only 33.33 per cent of Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs in addition to 28.60 per cent each of Rs. 3-4 lakhs and below Rs. 1.0 lakh supported the demand.  37.00 per cent of reporters and 38.00 per cent of the editorial staff held the same view while 63.00 per cent of reporters and 60.60 per cent of the editorial staff did not favour the demand for higher wages in times of financial problems. Virtually everyone among respondents, barring a countable few, stated their willingness to co-operate with the management in times of financial crisis.  Among different age groups, 100.00 per cent of 60 years and above, 95.50 per cent of 30 – 40 years and 94.10 per cent of 50-60 years were in the forefront of this opinion.  Likewise, 91.80per cent of men and 86.66 per cent of women expressed the same view.  Of the different educational groups, 100.00 per cent each of plus two, Ph.D. holders and others, and 94.10 per cent of post-graduate diploma holders were willing to co-operate with the management.  50.00 per cent of SSLC educated did not express any opinion as they were not sure of their decision.  The opinion did not vary among various income groups.  One hundred per cent each of Rs. 2-3 lakhs, Rs,. 3-4 lakhs and Rs. 5.0 lakhs  and above were positive of their co-operation while 33.33 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs were not sure of their response of the reporters selected  98.15 per cent and 85.90 per cent of the editorial staff had the same opinion.

This shows the willingness of the media persons to share the responsibility of keeping the media house going in times of financial crisis.  Perhaps, even those who were not sure of their opinion would fall in line with the majority during the times of crisis.

Do media houses fudge accounts?

The response to this query was mixed.  While 45.60 per cent of respondents were categorical in their statement that the media houses do not fudge the accounts, 39.20 per cent said the media houses do fudge accounts.  As much as 15.20 per cent were not sure and refrained from making any comment.  Among different age groups, 100.cent of 60 years and above and 70.60 per cent of 50-60 years were categorical in favour of media houses while 50.00 per cent of 40-50 years said the media houses do fudge accounts 44.50 per cent of men and 53.30 per cent of women did not any fudging of accounts, whereas the contrary view was expressed by 39.10 per cent of men and 40.00 per cent of women, showing women employees held clear views.

Among educational groups, 100.00 per cent of SSLC educated, 83.30 per cent of diploma holders and 62.50 per cent of Plus Two said their management did not fudge the accounts while 50.00 per cent Ph.Ds and 56.50 per cent of degree holders felt that their management fudged accounts.  In the case of income groups, 100.00 per cent of Rs. 5.0 lakhs and above, 85.70 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs and 53.60 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 lakh said their management would not fudge accounts.  On the contrary, 66.67 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs and 46.90 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs held the opposite view.  Of the professional categories, 46.30 per cent of reporters and 45.05 per cent of the editorial staff did not believe that their management would fudge the account.

As to the medium that pays better wages, 67.20 per cent of the respondents opted for print medium while only 30.00 per cent favoured electronic media.  When different age groups were considered, the younger age group of 20-30 years and the higher age group of 60 years and above, were equally divided between print and electronic media.  Of 50-60 years, 82.40- per cent considered print as the medium that paid better wages than any other medium.  More men (69.10%) than women (53.30%) had the same view.

In the educational categories, 91.30 per cent of degree holders, 87.50 per cent  of plus two educated, 83.30 per cent of diploma holders and 75.00 per cent of others found print media paid better wages than electronic while 50.00 per cent  of SSLC educated and 42.40 per cent of the post-graduates preferred the latter.

Out of income groups categorized, the higher income groups of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs and Rs. 5.0 lakhs and above, all the respondents preferred print media over electronic media.  So also 85.70 per cent of Rs. 3-4 lakhs.    However, 40.60 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs and 33.33 per cent of Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs held that electronic media paid better wages than print.  In the professional categories, 62.95 per cent of reporters and 70.40 per cent of the editorial staff accepted print over electronic for better wages. Only 37.05 per cent of the reporters and 20.00 per cent of the editorial staff held the other view.

Which sector was a better paymaster between private and Government?

The general opinion was slightly in favour of government organizations (52.00%) while the private sector also had substantial number of supporters (46.40%).  Among various age groups, the higher age groups of 60 yeas and above and 50-60 years supported the view that private sector was a better paymaster with 100.00 per cent and 52.90 per cent.  The younger age group of 20 – 30 years with 55.00 per cent was also of the same opinion. 57.10 per cent of 40 – 50 years and 54.50 per cent of 30-40 years were pro-government organizations.  However, there was a clear difference between men and women on this count.  While 53.60 per cent of men identified government organizations as better paymasters, 60.00 per cent of women opted for the private sector of the educational categories, 100.00 per cent of SSLC educated 37.50 per cent of plus two educated, 66.70 per cent of Ph.D. holders and 75.00 per cent of others opted for the government sector for better wages while 50.00 per cent each of plus two and diploma holders and 49.20 per cent of post-graduates preferred the private sector.

The highest income group of Rs. 5.00 lakhs (100.00%) opted for private sector followed by 59.40 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs.  On the other hand, 66.67 per cent of Rs. 4-5 lakhs, 59.25 per cent of Rs. 1 – 2 lakhs and 57.15 per cent of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs favoured the government sector for better wages.  59.15 per cent of the editorial staff and 42.60 per cent of reporters were in favour of the government sector while 55.55 per cent of reporters opted for the private sector as better paying sector.  About 60.00 per cent of respondents felt that the advantage of foreign direct investment in the media sector was better wages for them while 38.60 per cent of them said that the statuesque would continue.  The age groups were divided in their opinions.  64.70 per cent of 50-60 years and 64.30 per cent of 40-50 years thought they would get better wages if the foreign direct investment was allowed.  45.00 per cent of 20-30 years and 43.20 per cent of 30 – 40 years did not envisage any change in their status.  50.00 per cent of 60 year and above did not answer the poser.  Sex-wise, 66.67 per cent of women respondents and 59.10 per cent of men expected better wages due to FDI in the media sector.

Among educational categories, 100.00 per cent of SSLC educated, 51.80 per cent of PG diploma holders and 50.0-0 per cent of others did not expect any change due to FDI.  However, 87.50 per cent of Plus Two, 66.70 per cent each of diploma holders and Ph.D’s and 65.20 per cent of degree holders believed that they would get better wages, if FDI was allowed in the media sector.  One hundred per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs, 85.70 per cent of   Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs and 71.90  per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs expected better wages.  However, the highest income group of Rs. 5.00 lakhs and above, did not expect any benefit.  Designation-wise, 66.67 per cent of reporters and 54.95 per cent of the editorial staff stated the main advantage would be better wages.  Here one can observe the expectation of lower to middle income groups for better wages, as a result of FDI in the media sector.

Of the total respondents, 78.40 per cent of them found the state union of journalists was very active while only 14.40 per cent did not think so.  Among different age groups, 100.00 per cent of 60 years and above, 88.20 per cent of 50 – 60 years and 80.00 per cent of 20 – 30 years found the association very active.  Only 18.20 per cent of 30 – 40 years was the largest group that did not think so.  In sex wise composition, 80.00 per cent of women and 78.20 per cent of men respondent had the view that their union was very active.  In the educational categories, 100.00 per cent of diploma holders, 83.30 per cent of Ph. Ds, 82.60 per cent of degree holders, 82.30 per cent of the PG diploma holders and 75.00 per cent of Plus Two educated in addition to 76.30 per cent of post graduates subscribed to this view.  Among income groups identified, 100.00 per cent of the highest income group of Rs. 5.00 lakhs and above, 85.70 per cent of Rs. 3-4 lakhs, 85.20 per cent of Rs. 1-2 lakhs and 75.00 per cent of Rs. 1.0 lakh and below stated that the state union was very active.  However, 33.33 per cent of Rs. 4 – 5 lakhs did not subscribe to this view.  Among reporters, 79.65 per cent found the state union very active followed by 77.45 per cent of the editorial staff.

The minority of respondents that replied in the negative was asked as to the reasons behind the inactivity of the union.  Corporatisation of the media (38.88%) and better wages and facilities (38.88%) were the main reasons cited by them.  Inter-media movement was another main reason cited by them (16.68%).  66.37 per cent of 20 – 30 years cited media corporatisation and 100.00 per cent of 50 – 60 years considered better wages ad facilities as the main reason for the union inactivity.  Sex wise, 50.00 per cent of women and 35.70 per cent of men cited media corporatisation and the same per centages of and women and men cited better wages and facilities as the main reasons for union inactivity.  About 21,40 per cent of men identified inter-media movement as the   main reason.

In the educational categories, 100.00 per cent each of SSLC and  Plus Two educated stated better wages and facilities while 66.67 per cent of degree holders and 50.00 per cent of post-graduate diploma holders preferred to state corporatisation of media for union inactivity.  44.45 per cent each of post-graduates were divided between these two reasons.  50.00 per cent each of post  graduate diploma holders and the other educational group opted to identify inter-media movement.  Among income categories, 66.66 per cent of Rs. 2 – 3 lakhs, opted for media corporatisation, 80.00 per cent of below Rs. 1.0 lakh for better wages and facilities, and 100.00 per cent each of Rs. 3 – 4 lakhs and 4 – 5 lakhs for inter-media corporatisation.   Among reporters, 44.45 per cent tilted towards, media corporatisation, 44.45 per cent of the editorial staff towards better wages and facilities and 22.22 per cent of them towards inter-media movement.

True, in an era of corporatisation and globalization, the power of working journalists’ unions are diminishing.  Rather, all over the world, trade unions are on the decline.  The situation has arisen due to the emergence of new technologies and consequent revolution in the information and communication sector.  Technological determinism is a reality.  Age, sex, education and income were highly correlational with opinions held by the respondents.  Owing to the package system, the bargaining power of the unions has become weak and diluted.  The threat of job in-security looms large.  This is evident from the fact that most respondents never thought protesting against their employers.   While they do agree that unions can safeguard their interests, they are reluctant to take to streets.  Of course, owing to the pressure of the unions, the union government regularly constitutes wage boards for better pay and service conditions. The implementation of their recommendations varies from organization to organization.

As to the fudging of accounts by the management, the respondents were divided in their opinions. There appears to be a slight crisis of faith in the management.

 

 

 

In view of the responses given by the media persons, the researcher makes the following recommendations which are enumerated below:

1.          Every media organization should evolve its own mechanism to redress the grievances of employees.

2.          Establishment of in-house co-ordination committees with members from employees will help to reduce conflict situations.

3.          Regular workshops on union rights and duties should be organized.

4.          Transparency in media administration should be introduced by making the accounts available to employees for scrutiny.

5.          Quality control and checking systems should be introduced in all media organizations.

6.          Measures should be initiated to promote competence, competitiveness and professionalism among media persons.

7.          The press council of India must act as a facilitator of regular dialogues between working journalists and newspaper publishers.

8.          Efforts should be made to create a congenial atmosphere of co-operation, (not confrontation) between the working journalists and newspaper ownership.

9.          A voluntary body to monitor the trends of monopolization and cross-media ownership can be established.

10.       Self-regulation will definitely help the profession higher levels of credibility.  A comprehensive code of ethics can be formulated which will be binding for both journalists and publishers according to highly appreciable professional practices.

11.       The union government should find out, from time to time, the implementation level of wage board recommendations.

12.       Small and medium newspapers should get both governmental and public support for financial sustainability, in the form of higher allocation of advertisements, not subsidies or grants.

 

 

Among the journalists surveyed, majority favoured the spread of trade unionism and they believed that trade unions helped them for better social and economic benefits and, for improving their social status. As today, politics plays a very important part in the activities of the professionals in every field, political affiliation becomes a necessity for its smooth working. But it should be based on the consciousness of the performer and concrete social ethical principles.