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Employees demanding salary hike hinder newspaper circulation in Nepal

The Press and Publication Workers' Organization, which is affiliated to the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, obstructed the printing and dissemination of the Kantipur and Kathmandu Post dailies for two days.

The Kantipur Publications employees belonging to the Organization have been demanding a hike in salary in line with the Working Journalists' Act. Due to the agitation, the newspapers' circulation was disrupted, thereby depriving people of the right to information.

On the other hand, the publication had its agitating employees imprisoned for three days.

When questioned, the Police Office in New Baneshwor said seven employees of Kantipur Publications were detained for three days.

The demand for a minimum salary for those working in the media, including journalists, as determined by the Working Journalists' Act, is however legitimate.

Therefore, Freedom Forum maintains the stand that both sides - agitating employees, and the media house, Kantipur Publications - must abide by the rule that the Publication needs to address the employees' demands, and the employees should stop obstructing the dissemination of the newspapers.

When the free flow of information is obstructed, this violates people's right to information; moreover, not fulfilling the workers' rights to professional security is against the Working Journalists' Act. So, a balanced treatment is vital for the smooth functioning of a media house where rights are ensured, thereby helping to build a democratic culture.

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