International Federation of Journalists stands in solidarity with its affiliate
the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and workers of the English
newspaper-- the Daily Times who are striking this week in protest of the newspaper’s
continued withholding of salary payments.
situation at the Daily Times escalated on December 10 when two employees at the
newspaper attempted to set themselves alight after their salaries had been
withheld for 11 months.
According to media
reports, receptionist Mohammad Aftab and Sohail Ahmed, a worker in the
newspaper’s information technology department were seen pouring petrol on
themselves on the newspaper premises. Colleagues at the Daily Times snatched
the petrol and match box from them before they had the chance to self-immolate.
incident, staff working in the newspaper’s Islamabad office went on strike.
a statement, the PFUJ expressed serious concern at the conditions which led to
the attempted suicide of two newspaper workers. The PFUJ has said it is extremely regrettable that media organizations are
refusing to pay employees.
recent incident points to a pattern of exploitation of media workers in
Pakistan which is all too common. The IFJ reported in mid-August on the suicide
Semaab, who worked for local Lahore newspaper Daily Anti-Crime following the newspaper management’s persistent
refusal to pay her salary. In similar
instances, journalists working for Channel 5 and Aaj TV in Pakistan have committed suicide
after being denied salaries for several months.
denying salaries to their employees, media organizations are committing severe
human rights violations,” the PFUJ said.
The PFUJ called on
all media organizations to pay the salaries owed to their workers on time, claiming
that failure to do so can result in extreme actions.
suicide of workers as a result of employees with-holding salaries is deeply
disturbing. It is unacceptable for media houses to create a situation where
workers feel desperate enough to make an attempt on their own lives” said IFJ Asia
Pacific Director Jacqueline Park.”
call on the government to step in and hold media houses to account with regards
to their treatment of workers and to pursue legal action against any organisations
who do not comply with their obligations under national and international
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0918
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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