ऑल इंडिया रेडिया और दूरदर्शन के कर्मचारियों ने दिया धरना

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CHENNAI: Around 200 employees of the All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD) held a dharna on Wednesday as part of an all-India protest at the Doordarshan Kendra on Sivananda Salai, demanding that the Centre restore recognition to the nine employee unions that Prasar Bharati had recently derecognised.

The demonstrators alleged that the higher officials of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the management of Prasar Bharati were trying to get the unions out of their way to smoothen the process of privatising some of the public broadcasters’ assets.

“We are basically a stumbling block to their privatisation plans. There have been plans for some time now to lease out transmitters belonging to AIR and DD to private players. AIR and DD together have one of the most expansive transmission networks in India and we are in their way of giving away the transmitters,” said RK Achanta, zonal president of the AIR and DD Technical Employees Association, one of the unions derecognised by the Centre.

The demonstrators added that the nine unions had been derecognised following a call they raised last month demanding the implementation of directives by the Supreme Court and the Madras High Court asking Prasar Bharati to correct anomalies in the cadre-based pay scales.

The protestors also claim that the government did not follow the procedures laid down by the Department of Personnel and Training for the derecognisation of the unions. The derecognised unions, which have come together under the banner of Sanyukta Sangharsh Samiti, said that Prasar Bharati CEO Rajiv Thakru was transferring officer bearers of the unions, as a sort of punishment.

“Three hundred employees, mostly union office bearers, have been transferred across the country. And, we are hearing of impending transfers of 300 more. We are not afraid of transfers. But the management is trying to crush the voice of its employees, and that is unacceptable,” said Achanta.

“This is the time when politicians and government officials are willing to discuss and negotiate with terrorist organisations and countries. But they do not want to talk to their employees. This is deplorable,” Achanta said, adding that he would not be surprised if he was transferred within a week of the dharna.

“All we want is that the management implement the directives of the SC and Madras HC, and restore the recognition of the nine unions. Is that too much to ask? Though this may be the problem at the outset, the real issue is the aim of officials and politicians to privatise AIR and DD, and we will not allow it,” Achanta said. He also pointed out that though they were protesting, they ensured that the normal operations of public broadcasters remained unaffected. courtesy : IBN Live


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