04 October 2007

About Nepalese Media Workers’ Demands: They Don’t Tell US

By Harsha Man Maharjan

We know this week there are tussles going on between Kantipur Publication Pvt. Ltd. and All Nepal Communication, Printing and Publications Workers’ Union (ANCPPWU). Agitating members of ANCPPWU even vandalized vehicles of publication’s management and press when the publication showed no concern to reinstate its nine suspended members.

Many media related organizations, political parties etc condemned ANCPPWU for disrupting activities of newspapers and vandalism. They equate these activities to attack on ‘press freedom ‘and people’s ‘right to information’. These loaded words helped media to eclipse demands of agitating workers. Actually the media have not told their audiences what the demands were. Most of audiences know nothing about the demands. Thus there reporting on the incidents are one-sided.

There are few exceptions. Government-owned media have presented some parts of demand this time. It is said the ANCPPWU presented 22 point demands to the publication. And the management of the publication and members of ANCPPWU came up with five points agreement on 9 September 2007. But the management changed one point while writing the agreement next day. And ANCPPWU declined to sign the agreement and allowed no advertisement to two newspapers on 26 September 2007. So we saw ad less Kantipur and The Kathmandu Post the next day.

The bone of contention in five points agreement was to make all workers who have worked for 240 days permanent. There are many genuine demands. But as mentioned above many readers have no knowledge of these demands.

These media emphasize people’s right to information in ANCPPWU’s action. But they forget it by not informing people about ANCPPWU’s demands. Readers’ have rights to know about the agitating workers’ demands.

At last Moment

Today’s Rajdhani contains few demands of these workers like sick leave, home leave, life insurance etc. These issues got place in news after the demands were handed to PM yesterday.


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