Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL) has now announced the second round of pay cuts, taking journalists by surprise. The employees of The Times of India and The Economic Times have received mails regarding salary revision. According to reports, some of them are facing a 10-15 per cent salary cut compared to what they were earning in 2017.
In 2020, the employees were informed by the managers in advance about the pay cuts, but this time, the decision has come as a shock to everyone, without any warning.
After the closure of Times Life and Sunday ET magazine, many at TOI and ET have received pink slips in the last two to three months. Several senior journalists have either been asked to leave or have had their contracts renewed. Some of them were moved to consultant roles and their employee benefits taken away from them.
The journalists received a mail from the chairman, stating that the quarter 1 sales were not satisfactory and due to the prevailing economic crisis, the Company will need to conserve its resources. The Company will still give SPIP and target variable pay as was decided earlier in March 2021.
This latest pay cut comes as an even bigger shock because only last month the employees received a positive mail from the chairman’s office indicating that the Company is hopeful of achieving its business goals and closing the year with a good turnaround. The letter had also announced payment of 100 per cent variable pay!
Data suggests that BCCL incurred a net loss of Rs 451.63 crore at the end March, 2020 compared to the net profit of Rs 484.27 in the previous fiscal. Clearly, the Company has been facing a financial crunch well before the pandemic struck.