Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Monday met department heads of the HTN Tiranga TV channel at his residence to resolve the issue of pending salaries of 200 employees after journalist Barkha Dutt opened a scathing attack on Twitter.
The outcome of the meeting was not yet disclosed. Sources told IANS that the meeting deliberated on the pending demands of the journalists in the face of heavy retrenchment currently going on at the channel. Employees said that 40-50 workers have already been asked to leave with one-month extra salary.
"However, in the case of those still working, our demand is six-month payout in case the channel completely shuts operations. The live recordings have been stopped and only one-two bulletins are currently on," employees told IANS.
Most of the employees are frantically looking for jobs. No official statement from either Sibal or his wife was issued on the matter.
Barkha Dutt had earlier slammed Sibal, who backs Tiranga TV, for "duping and cheating journalists".
An appalling situation in @NewsHtn promoted by @KapilSibal & his wife, where more than 200 employees have had equipment confiscated and face sackings without even a 6 month pay out. Man who acts holier than though in public has treated journalists in a hideous way— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) July 15, 2019
Dutt attacked both Sibal and his wife for the "appaling situation" and claimed that Sibal who earns "crores every day" doesn't have the "decency" to follow industry norms.
Without the provision of termination of contract from the company, Sibal allegedly planned to make employees resign by themselves and avoid the required three-month payoffs.
Dutt said that Sibal wanted to use a fake crackdown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an excuse and planned to not face the staff. She revealed their plans to go to London on a 'holiday' which prompted her to call him "Mallya".
The Sibals had, according to Dutt, threatened to withdraw her emails demanding reparation or face defamation.
Dutt also alleged abusive slurs attributed to female employees by the employers and urged the National Commission of Women to take notice of the incident.
The Editors Guild was also urged by Dutt to provide relief to 200 employees, including senior journalists.
Lastly, she urges the media fraternity to take notice to make sure that the Sibals don't 'wriggle out' with one-month payout by "intimidating staff with threats of defamation and other Vakeel type tricks."