IFJ Urges Pakistan Courts to Act on Wage Award for Journalists

The International

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

implementation.

 

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.

 

For

further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries