Delhi operations of Sakal Times closed, employees angry

November 30th, 2008 - 7:10 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 30 (IANS) The Delhi operations of the Sakal Times, an English daily brought out by Maharashtra’s leading Sakal media group, were closed down Sunday allegedly without informing the employees in advance. Many staffers who came in to work Sunday morning found the office closed with a terse notice pasted on the main door stating: “The editorial work carried out at Delhi is no longer required to be continued.”

“As a result, the operations are stopped forthwith and the staff is being released. They need not attend office from today.”

Sakal Times is published from Pune while the group also runs a popular Marathi daily, Sakal.

There were around 70 employees in Delhi, including editorial staff, who camped at the gate for several hours, angry over the management’s decision to close down the Delhi operation a mere six months since Sakal Times was launched May 7.

The employees instantly constituted an action committee to protest the lock-out.

K.K. Lashkar, the photo editor who has now become the convenor of the action committee of Sakal Times staff, told IANS: “The closure is illegal and unethical. We will take legal action. This is a test case for all workers in the print industry to fight.”

A senior editorial staff said: “None of us knew the edition will be closed down like this. We were neither informed nor given the option to relocate to the head office in Pune.”

An initial few were laid off some time ago and 12 people were told their services were no longer required. “The rest of the editorial team, including photographers, editors, reporters and designers, was all in the dark,” he said.

A reporter with the paper said: “I was in the office till Saturday midnight. Till then, there was no intimation by the management. Everything was functioning normally and when I reached office today afternoon, it was all locked.”

“We may not get even this month’s salary,” she said.

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