Prasar Bharati workers plan indefinite strike

38, 000 workers of Doordarshan Kendra and All India Radio all across the country went on a 48 hour strike from November 23 morning, seriously crippling the services of these two government broadcasting institutions.

Faced with the government’s adamant refusal to discuss their demands, the unions have announced plans of stepped up struggle.

38, 000 workers of Doordarshan Kendra and All India Radio all across the country went on a 48 hour strike from November 23 morning, seriously crippling the services of these two government broadcasting institutions.

Faced with the government’s adamant refusal to discuss their demands, the unions have announced plans of stepped up struggle.

The union will again go on strike for 72 hours from December13, which would culminate in an indefinite strike thereafter. In such an event, the entire transmission of Doordarshan kendras and AIR’s radio network could virtually shut down, something which has not happened anywhere in the world, according to officials of Prasar Bharati.

The current strike called by the National Federation of Akashvani and Doordarshan Employees (NFADE) disrupted the services of AIR and Doordarshan at all its 1,800 stations across the country bringing to halt the regular programming. In several states, the high and low-power transmitters of Doordarshan remained switched off, a NFADE functionary said.

The strike paralysed the services AIR and DD across north east, West Bengal, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala among other states. In Delhi, the AIR and Doordarshan employees did not enter the offices. As a result, only recorded programmes were on air on AIR and Doordarshan. Also, several AIR stations in various states went off-air, the first time in independent India.

The main demand of the workers is the repeal of the Prasar Bharati Act 1997. According to the NFADE, the existence of the Prasar Bharati Act and its provisions have disrupted the functioning of the employees of AIR and Doordarshan and contributed to delays in the disbursement of salaries, non-maintenance of technical equipments, and poor service conditions.

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