GUWAHATI, Sept 21 - Terming the recent de-recognition of all the nine recognized employees’ associations of AIR and Doordarshan as illegal, the recognised associations’ forum of AIR and Doordarshan today alleged a ‘deep-rooted’ conspiracy behind the developments and said that they would continue with their nationwide agitation until the associations’ earlier status was restored.
Office-bearers of the North Eastern Zone (NEZ) units of three of the nine associations, i.e., Association of Radio and Television Engineering Employees’ (ARTEE), Akashvani & Doordarshan Technical Employees’ Association (ADTEA) and Programme Staff Association (PSA) told The Assam Tribune that the sudden and arbitrary decision to de-recognise the nine unions was legally untenable, and was even violative of the order (no. B-12017/3/2010-WL/155 dated 22.2.10) issued by the Director General of AIR which called for maintenance of status quo vis-à-vis recognition of associations as the matter was under process in the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).
The associations alleged that the arbitrary move to de-recognise the unions was taken at the behest of a senior bureaucrat of the MIB to crush the legitimate voice of the employees concerning their genuine grievances and also to pave the way for imposing certain autocratic decisions on the employees even though those were not in the best interests of AIR and Doordarshan.
“Our unions are registered by the Government of India under the Recognition of Service Associations Act, and their fundamental right to protest and ‘Freedom of Speech and Expression’ as conferred by the Constitution of India cannot be curbed by any repressive decision of an administrator,” the associations said.
Pointing out that they were opposing renting of equipment for DTH expansion, on the ground that it would be a recurring loss, besides the proposed outsourcing of AIR and Doordarshan projects, as the existing staff was capable of doing the technical works, the associations said that it was precisely to gag any justified opposition that the associations were sought to be de-recognised.
“We cannot rule out any deep-rooted conspiracy behind the sinister moves, as it is unlikely that a single bureaucrat would be doing all this without endorsement at the highest level,” they added.
The associations also submitted a memorandum to the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ambika Soni, seeking her intervention in the matter.
"We drew her attention to the fact that the Prasar Bharati Secretariat's order declaring all the associations de-recognised is violative of different legal provisions, including the RSA, and directives of the DoP&T, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pension, AIR manual, and communication from the Director General of AIR.
The associations said that once the unions were de-recognised, it would be easier for dishonest officials to indulge in large-scale corruption with none to protest such misdeeds.