Pakistan's Media Workers Deserve Long-Overdue Pay Rise, says IFJ

 

Media Release: Pakistan                                                                                November 11, 2008

 

Pakistan’s

Media Workers Deserve Long-Overdue Pay Rise, says IFJ

The

International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) joins journalists and media workers in Pakistan in calling on Pakistan’s Government to honour a

commitment made by President Asif Zardari in March to ensure implementation of

wage rises for newspaper employees which have been stalled since 2001.

The

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), an IFJ affiliate, and the All

Pakistan Newspapers Employees’ Confederation (APNEC) called this week for

journalists and media workers to join rallies across the country on November 26

to pressure media owners to implement the 7th Wage Award, constituted under the

Pakistan Working Journalists’ Act, and to urge the Government to constitute an 8th

Wage Board, which is overdue by two years.

Pakistan’s National Assembly, Senate and all

four provincial assemblies have unanimously passed resolutions in support of

the wage award for newspaper employees.

However,

media bosses continue to renege on their legal obligation to grant pay rises to

their employees.

“It is appalling that Pakistan’s media employers have

refused for so long to grant legally endorsed pay rises to their staff especially

as the same staff are often required to report in extremely dangerous

conditions and on issues which can put them at great risk,”

IFJ-Asia Pacific said.

 

“It is time for the Government to act to ensure employers

show due respect for the hard work of journalists and media workers by granting

their wage increases as required by law.”

 

Pakistan’s two leading bodies representing

newspaper employees will also observe November 12 as a day of protest against

the killing of journalist Qari Mohammad Shoaib in Swat valley, north-west Pakistan, on

November 8.

 

Shoaib, 32, a reporter for Azadi and Khabar Kar, was

shot dead in Mingora by security forces. Reports

indicate he was fired on directly when he did not stop his vehicle when

signalled to do so. The PFUJ said there was no justification for the shooting

of Shoaib, while the security forces admitted that he was killed “by

mistake".

The

IFJ joins the PFUJ and APNEC in calling on authorities to suspend immediately the

officials involved in Shoaib’s killing, and to establish an independent inquiry

and ensure those responsible are brought to justice.

Shoaib

is the third journalist to be killed in the conflict-ridden region this year. In

late August, Abdul Aziz was murdered during an attack by Pakistan forces

on a Taliban hideout in Swat, where he was being held hostage. In May, Mohammad

Ibrahim was killed by unknown militants in Bajaur, in the Federally Administered Tribal Area

north of Swat.

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in

120 countries worldwide