The Hindu skips Deepavali bonus as loss mounts

hindu_paper-logo_ciChennai,Oct 18 (TruthDive): The Hindu employees will for the first time not get Deepavali bonus but only an ex-gratia of Rs 3500 instead. This follows the huge loss of Rs 65 crore it reported for the FY 2014. It is the first time since its inception that The Hindu has given up the practice.

Bonus ranging from Rs 40,000 and upwards used to be given to employees. However, the employees of The Hindu are in for a windfall as they are set to get wage arrears as per Majithia board recommendations. Wages have been hiked from 20% to 100% and amounts as high as Rs 8 lakhs to an employee are to be paid by Kasturi and Sons Ltd, publisher of The Hindu and Busines Line among other publications.

The arrears are paid in three installments. N Ram, head of The Hindu family was against shifting regular employees who had come under the working journalist act to contract in order to avoid the Majitha recommendations.

Most of the rival newspapers had started this process as soon as the wage board was constituted and many implemented the golden handshake for seniors or got them to resign and rejoin on contract. Finally now, The Hindu has 90% of the employees of Kasturi and Sons coming under the purview of the wage board, leading to the outflow of Rs 120 crores towards salaries.

Wage increase comes with retrospective effect from 2011. Since most of the employees are above the ceiling prescribed by labour act to get bonus, The Hindu decided to use this clause this year and give Rs 3500 as ex gratia.

Times of India who is making inroads in Chennai market considered the bastion of The Hindu is also said to be a major reason for the losses. Many of the markets of The Hindu in the South are eroded by the aggressive marketing of Times. Deccan Chronicle yet another media house is caught in a financial mess and mired in litigation and criminal cases.

Source: truthdive