NOAB statement meant to create 'anarchy' in newspaper industry: BFUJ-DUJ
Publish- August 22, 2020, 09:20 PM
UNB NEWS - UNB NEWS
Expressing concern over the recent statement of the Newspaper Owners’ Association of Bangladesh (NOAB), the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and the Dhakaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) on Saturday said the statement came as part of deep conspiracy to create ‘utter anarchy’ in the newspaper industry.
“In the statement what NOAB said from the beginning to the end are just false, fabricated, baseless and bereft of truth. Rather, it is for the purpose of fishing in muddy waters by creating an anarchy situation in the country,” said BFUJ and DUJ leaders in a joint statement.
The journalist leaders said August is a month of conspiracy in Bangladesh. The conspirators against the country and the nation are more active this month. NOAB’s statement smelled of the language that BNP leaders spoke about the horrific August 21 grenade attack that went viral on social media last Friday, they added.
Noting that the NOAB in the statement placed a number of demands to the government to protect the newspaper industry, they said the association also claimed that the wage board is irrational (for the newspaper industry), going on to explain the rationales of their demands.
The journalist leaders criticised NOAB for terming ‘absurd’ and ‘irrational’ not only the 9th wage board, but also all the wage boards that have so far been awarded.
BFUJ president Molla Jalal and general secretary Shaban Mahmud, DUJ president Kuddus Afrad and general secretary Sajjad Alam Khan Tapu in a joint statement strongly protested and condemned the NOAB’s statement saying that the Wage Board has remained effective since long before the NOAB was formed.
Noting that several members of NOAB once had made a living working under the wage board, they scolded that no man should forget his past so quickly. The NOAB should keep in mind that the Wage board is a state law and the newspapers also have to abide by state laws.
“If you do not want to abide by the laws of the state, you have to consider the consequences. The tendency to breach the Wage Board law actually began just after the formation of the NOAB. They resorted to various tactics to recruit undocumented journalists, make media workers recruited at low pay, consolidated pay or on contractual basis. NOAB has never fully implemented any wage board. But they’ve availed all the facilities provided by the government,” said the BFUJ and DUJ leaders.
They said if anyone thinks that it is not possible for him to run the institution in accordance with the existing law, then he can follow the existing law. But the media workers cannot be used as slaves on any excuse without paying, or by reducing the salary and cutting jobs. There is no scope to run the newspaper arbitrarily.
The BFUJ and DUJ, if necessary, will form a strong movement against such arbitrariness with all their members and the media workers across the country, they said.
Describing the NOAB as a platform grabbed by one or two persons, most of the newspapers have no relation with it.
They also criticised the newspaper owners’ association for claiming that the newspaper industry is passing through crisis due to the Coronavirus outbreak in the country.
“Corona came to Bangladesh in March this year. But for many years before that, the owners of the newspapers enjoyed all the benefits provided by the government, but did not pay the salaries and allowances of all the employees of the organization as per the wage board,” said the BFUJ and DUJ leaders.
They said the media workers have always been deceived applying various tricks. “Now they (owners) have started job-cutting, slashing salary, conspiracy not to pay salary-allowance on the excuse of corona, which is tantamount to raising the finger at the country's traditional law,” they went on.
The leaders think that in the current situation, the government should take urgent measures in consultation with all concerned, including the editors-publishers and directors of the newspapers.
They said those who are able to run the organization with the facilities provided by the government should do and those who are not able can follow the existing law. “There is nothing oppressive here.” they added.