Even though PM Modi appealed to corporate houses not to fire its employees during the lockdown, several had either terminated or put their employees on furlough.
Media houses which like to pontificate constantly and tell the government what to do recover the economy, appeared to have no other option but to let people go amid a lockdown, leaving many stranded in different cities or towns with no means of surviving or going home.
Yesterday, Congress MP and former Union Minister Manish Tewari wrote a letter to current I&B Minister and Ramayana enthusiast Prakash Javadekar, asking the government to issue an advisory asking media not to fire its employees.
Here are how things are so far:
Made famous by Deepak Chaurasia’s astronaut impression during Chandrayaan II landing, the Hindi channel has fired its entire English digital team. It’s believed that 16 employees were fired without even a notice period.
The Indian Express
The Indian Express has asked all employees to take a ‘temporary paycut’. According to a report in Newslaundry, CEO George Varghese wrote: “Our advertising revenues have been hit hard and all available evidence shows the worst may be yet to come. Here is the proposed salary cuts for employees at Express according to Varghese’s email: 0 percent cut for those earning below Rs 5 lakh per annum; 10 percent for those between Rs 5 and 7.5 lakh; 15 percent for Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh range; 20 percent for Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh range; 25 percent for Rs 20 lakh to Rs 25 lakh range; and 30 percent for those earning above Rs 35 lakh per annum.”
The report states that Chief Editor Rajkamal Jha, chairman Anant Goenka and director Vaidehi Thakkar have all taken 100% salary cuts.
The Outlook Magazine has stopped printing its magazine but has said it’s temporary.
The Times of India has reportedly sacked its entire team. Nona Walia wrote on Facebook: “The entire team of Sunday magazine of Times of India asked to leave. Got a call from my boss Poonam Singh. Sacked after 24 years from a company I served with love for more than two decades.”
Half the employees at Quint have been put on leave without pay. A note stated: “We are forced to request you to proceed on a ‘furlough’ (ie, leave without pay, LWP) wef the 15th of April, until further notice. Your pay for the half-month, from April 1 through 15, shall be processed and released very soon.”
A mail from We-Media stated: “Kindly note that all activities related to We-Media articles will be temporarily suspended from April 16 until further notice, as our manpower responsible for reviewing We-Media articles are affected by the nationwide quarantine measures. We apologize for the inconvenience that this may cause and thank you for your continuous support. Kindly contact the customer service of any concerns that you may have about the outage.”