The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation representing more 500,000 journalists worldwide, gives its full support to today’s Protest Sit In for wage justice for Pakistani journalists hosted by IFJ affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ).
In the sixth year of the PFUJ’s fight for the implementation of the Seventh Wage Award, protest sit-ins will be held outside the Governor's House in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta, and a coinciding protest outside Parliament House on today, September 15, at 4:30pm (local time).
“The IFJ commends the PFUJ and its colleagues for their never fading determination to pressure the government to ensure the journalists of Pakistan receive fair working conditions and adequate wages, and we wish them all the best for today’s protest,” IFJ President Christopher Warren said.
Fourteen journalists unions from 10 countries across the Asia-Pacific wrote letters of protest to the Pakistan Government demanding immediate action for the implementation of the Seventh Wage Award, which the PFUJ will present to the office of the Prime Minister at today’s sit-in.
A large number of newspaper employees, trade union activists and human rights activists from all over the country are expected to participate in the sit-in.
The present economic situation for media workers in Pakistan continues to deteriorate, with little job stability or support from their employers and wages are dismal.
Pakistan newspapers owners are bound to pay the wages set out the Seventh Wage Board decision, which was handed down on October 8, 2001, and backdated to 2000, as stipulated by the Newspapers Employers Act (Condition of service) 1973, and passed by the National Assembly.
However, these wages are still not being paid, and the government of Pakistan has done nothing to ensure the economic conditions for journalists improve.
“It is appalling that in the last six years, despite constant campaigning by the PFUJ and other unions, with international support from the IFJ and national journalists unions from around the world, and regardless of empty promises made by the government, no progress has been made in implementing this award,” Warren said.
“After the shocking September 13 bashing of senior journalist and former union leader Cr. Shamsi by security guards for the Federal Minister for Labour, Ghulam Sarwar Khan - all for simply demanding the implementation of the wage award – the IFJ is concerned that the Pakistan government has no regard for a free and independent press or for the safety of journalists.
“We stand united in solidarity with our Pakistani colleagues and call on the government of Pakistan to remedy this wage injustice that has gone on for much too long,” he said.
To contribute to the campaign for just and fair wages for Pakistani journalists please visit the IFJ Asia Pacific website (www.ifj-asia.org) to download a draft letter of protest to send to the Pakistan government.
For more information please contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919
The IFJ represents more than 500,000 journalists in over 115 countries