Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists
(PFUJ) in demanding that Pakistan’s
judiciary delay no longer in enforcing implementation of the long-stalled wage
award for journalists and media workers in Pakistan’s print media.
Leaders of journalists’ unions and
media workers from throughout Pakistan staged a big demonstration in front of
the Sindh High Court last week as the court was due to deal with a petition
challenging the 2000 Seventh Wage Board Award.
The petition, filed by the All
Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), representing newspaper owners, claims the award
is discriminatory, and challenges the Newspaper Employees (Conditions of
Service) Act 1973 and establishment of a tribunal to adjudicate award
APNS has been opposing the award in
the courts since 2001. After Pakistan’s
Supreme Court dismissed its first challenge in 2004, the owners took their case
to the Sindh High Court in 2005, where the case has since languished.
Last week, the court adjourned hearings to November 24 as protesting
journalists strongly condemned the failure of courts and authorities to order
media owners to act in accordance with the law and implement the award.
Journalists also demanded
constitution of the overdue Eighth Wage Board, condemned mass retrenchment of
media workers and noted that working conditions were worsening as media
personnel worked long hours, often in unsafe conditions, for very low pay.
The PFUJ noted the government was
morally and financially patronising the media community, playing the role of a
silent spectator under pressure from media owners.
further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
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