Relief for TV channel employees only if they approach us: Pinarayi

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 25 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said the tough working conditions faced by more than 15,000 employees with TV channels in the state will be taken up once it comes before the government from those distressed by it.

“So far there have been no official complaints to this, even though it is known that there persists issues with regards to wages and such things. The non-inclusion of TV channel employees in the wage board is yet to come from them and one reason why this has not happened is because, unlike in the print medium, salary levels in TV channels are very high and there is a frequent shifting of jobs by the employees amongst the various channels. So let the demand come from their side,” said Vijayan.

Today in the state there are seven 24X7 news channels, besides numerous other national and regional channels, and apart from 15,000 direct jobs, this sector also employs 20,000 indirectly.

The Chief Minister was replying to a calling attention motion moved by TV journalist turned CPI-M legislator Veena George in the assembly.

George pointed out that while the TV journalists are in the forefront of bringing out issues faced by employees in all sectors, their own woes are not taken up.

“Today the rules are such that the TV journalists are not covered under the Working Journalists Act and, hence, they do not get many benefits. The state government should take up this with the Centre to see that rules are amended. There are so many issues that are plaguing the TV channel employees and the need of the hour is to set up a committee to look into all aspects,” said George, who quit her job as a news TV anchor in a news channel.

With a tough competition and the advertisement pie getting crowded, of the seven news channels, barring a few, financial crisis time and again grips these channels and the worst affected are the hapless employees.

–IANS

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