Journalists who have spent more than two decades have been promised a basic salary till their retirement age.
The sword was dangling for a while, and finally it came down last week. Around 120 journalists, including those part of the wage board, at one of the leading newspaper publishers in the country — The Ananda Bazar Patrika group, which publishes the Bengali daily by the same name and the English daily The Telegraph— were asked to resign.
However, the company has been quite generous with the severance package. It is learnt that employees who had put in several years with the company will receive 75–100 per cent of their yearly CTC as compensation. On the other hand, journalists who have spent more than two decades have been promised a basic salary till their retirement age. The junior staff or the young journalists’ group was also given few months’ basic salary as compensation.
In December, 2016, the newspaper publisher sent notices (read pink slips) to a set of journalists informing that they would continue to get an amount equivalent to the basic pay at the present rate, till their due time of retirement.
The notice clarified that all journalists under the wage board will have to accept the company’s offer and complete the formalities by 15 January, 2017.
It will be very difficult for many ABP journalists who are close to retirement to find another job. First there is no other strong Bengali daily to accommodate these many journalists. ABP for many years has had a monopoly in the market and is the only profit making language daily in the market.
In the recent past, the company also reduced the retirement age from 60 to 58, which forced many people to end their career with the publication.