Trouble is brewing at the Noida office of Triveni Media’s Voice of India (VOI) channel. VOI employees struck work on August 21 and 21 to protest against non-payment of salaries.
A senior VOI official, on condition of anonymity, told exchange4media, “The employees went on strike on August 21 and 22 as they have not been paid their salaries for the last couple of months. What is distressing is that we don’t know who to look up to, whether it is Mittal (Madhur Mittal, MD & CEO, Triveni Media Ltd) or Amit Sinha (Director & CEO, VOI). I don’t think it’s any crime to ask for your own salary.”
The official further said, “All the employees are, however, continuing with their work now and the channel is running. While some are operating from the Noida office, there are some who are working from the Jain Studio in South Delhi. We don’t understand the reason for people to be working out of the Jain Studio when we have our own office in Noida.”
Industry sources have told exchange4media that the editorial staff of VOI numbering 10-12 people was now working from the Jain Studio.
However, when contacted, Amit Sinha, Director & CEO, Voice of India, maintained, “There was no strike. It was an internal matter and has been resolved now. As far as the salaries are concerned, we have paid salaries till June and the salaries for the month of July will be paid in August. A few months here or there is a given since we are in a recession period and the fact that the channel is not doing very well. As for operating from the Jain Studio, I would like to clarify that we have taken up that place on rent as we needed one office in the city to operate from. The move was also keeping in mind the convenience of our guests who sometimes find it difficult to come all the way to Noida.”
Triveni Media has been facing some tough times in the wake of the economic slowdown. This media arm of the Triveni Infrastructure Group was reportedly the first to cut costs sharply, which included laying off a significant chunk of its work force. In November 2008, Voice of India had laid off of over 250 employees. Thus, from a team of 900-plus, the organisation had come down to a staff strength of around 650.
This apart, in June this year, Amit Sinha had taken a 50 per cent stake in Triveni Media. There are industry reports of Sinha in the process of taking over completely from Madhur Mittal. However, there is reportedly some discord there as well.
Watch this space for further development.