Media Should Not Ignore Trade Unions And Working Class, Urges C. Srikumar
I am thankful to www.indianpsu.com for publishing the point of views of Trade Unions various issues, says C. Srikumar
In one of the leading news paper, an article was published on Saturday, in which the reporter shared his experience that he was the only Reporter who attended a press meet Convened by a Central Trade Union, which is close to the government in power. The organisers expected more than 50 reporters to attend the Press Meet and had made arrangements accordingly.
Though www.indianpsu.com regularly publishes the news of the Trade Unions also. However, there is always a general complaint from the trade unions that the media, by and large, tends to ignores them and their agitations and even if they publish, it’s with a certain negative approach.
www.indianpsu.com contacted C. Srikumar Deputy General Secretary of WFTU and National Secretary of AITUC, a senior Trade Union Leader who is dealing with International Trade Union affairs to ask for his views and experience with media.
C. Srikumar stated that he is in agreement with the experience shared by a media person, about how the media houses tend to ignore trade unions and the working class movement. He also endorsed the views expressed by veteran Leaders Late M.K. Pandhe and Amarjeet Kaur and shared his own experiences as which is given below:-
The All India Defence Employees Federation staged a 45-days relay hunger strike at Jantar Mantar New Delhi in 2018, against the government move to privatise and outsource defence activities and corporatisation of Ordnance Factories. Daily, more than 200 Defence Civilian Employees participated in the hunger strike. Many MPs came and met the agitators sitting on hunger strike on daily basis and raised the issue in the Parliament.
Reporters from National Dailies also used to visit our hunger strike pandal and take our interviews and press statements. But strangely, nothing was published. Similarly, in September last year, we organised a massive demonstration against the disastrous NPS and demanding for Restoration of Old Pension Scheme. No media house gave coverage.
On January 21, more than 50 Trade Union Organizations of Government Employees organised a National Convention to Scrap NPS and Restore Guaranteed and defined Old Pension Scheme. No coverage was given to this event by National Media.
On January 30, a National Convention of Workers was held at New Delhi against the anti-worker policies being pursued by the present government. Again, no coverage was given to this event by the national media. If a massive rally of workers was held, the media simply wrote, that due to the Trade Unions Rally, there was traffic jam and a lot of persons were put to hardships. But why was the rally held, what were the demands of the workers, are simply ignored by the media. How can media neglects the workers who comprise 90% of the adult population of our county.
Trade Unions play a constructive role in the industrial and economic growth of the country. They educate the workers for Nation Building. But if employers and governments expect that they should not fight for their valid rights and reasonable demands, how can this be accepted. When the Government wanted to demolish Public Sector and Government Sector, which are the backbone of the Indian economy, that saved the country during global recession and Covid-19 pandemic, and when the government wanted to crush the workers and their Trade Unions in the name of labour reforms, ease of doing business etc., how are the trade unions expected to keep quiet.
They have to raise their voice and if the media ignores the same is it justified ? A responsible media should publish the views of the Trade Unions on the policies of the Government as the Trade Unions are legal entity and part of our Democratic System. Sponsored Articles of Retired Army Officers and Self claimed Defence Experts were published abusing the 220 years old Indian Defence Industry viz the 41 Ordnace Factories and supporting the government decision to Corporatise the Ordnance Factories. When we forwarded articles countering those fictious write ups, our versions were not published. Time has come for the media houses to introspect about this approach towards workers and Trade Unions. Of course, I am thankful to www.indianpsu.com for publishing the point of views of Trade Unions various issues, concluded a furious C. Srikumar