IFJ Protests Against Two-Year Delay in Implementation of Wage Decision for Pakistani Journalists

The IFJ wrote to the President of Pakistan in the following Letter:



8 October 2003


General Pervez Musharraf

President and Chief Executive of Pakistan

Via Email: CE@pak.gov.pk



Dear General Musharraf,


The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation of journalists representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, is deeply concerned about the excessive delay tactics employed by the All Newspaper Employers Society (APNS) and the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) in the implementation of the Seventh Wage Board decision, announced on 8 October 2001, particularly in relation to journalists.


According to information received from our affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), newspaper owners across the country are failing to implement the decision, issued two years ago while some, mainly regional newspapers, have not even implemented the Sixth Wage Board decision, despite repeated calls from the national assembly, provincial assemblies and the PFUJ to do so.


The IFJ supports the PFUJ's calls for the Government of Pakistan to:


  • Link government advertising with the implementation of the wage board decisions.

    Appoint Labour Inspectors unders section 20 of the Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) Act 1973 to ensure that newspaper workers are not exploited and not subjected to unfair labour practices.

  • Improve the legal process for dealing with employee grievances, including establishing a labour court to speed up the legal process.

  • Establish provincial benches of the Implementation Tribunal to ensure the implementation of the wage board decisions.

  • Constitute a committee to oversee the implementation of these recommendations, with appropriate representation from newspaper workers, including the PFUJ and the All Pakistan Newspaper Employees Confederation.


    The IFJ firmly believes that press freedom cannot thrive when journalists do not have adequate wages and conditions. Therefore we call upon your Government to implement the recommendations from the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists to ensure that legally-binding minimum wages and conditions are implemented.



    Yours sincerely,



    Christopher Warren

    President, IFJ



    CC. Mr. Shaikh Rasheed

    Minister of Information

    Government of Pakistan

    Via Email: Infominister@pak.gov.pk



    CC. Mr. Anwer Mahmood

    Secretary Information

    Government of Pakistan

    Via Email: minform@isb.comsats.net.pk



    CC. Mr. Sattar Lalika

    Minister of Labour

    Government of Pakistan

    Via Email: seclab58@hotmail.com



    The IFJ Wrote to the Newspaper Employers Associations in the following letters:


    8 October 2003



    Mr. Mir Shakilur-Rehman

    President

    Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE)

    Via Email: theapns@hotmail.com



    Dear Mr Shakilur-Rehman,


    The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation of journalists representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, is deeply concerned about the excessive delay tactics employed by your organisation in the implementation of the Seventh Wage Board decision, announced on 8 October 2001, particularly in relation to journalists.


    According to information received from our affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), newspaper owners across the country have failed to implement a two year old wage decision, while some, mainly regional newspapers, have not even implemented the Sixth Wage Board decision, despite repeated calls from the national assembly, provincial assemblies and the PFUJ to do so. This has resulted in media workers not having received a wage increase in over eight years.


    The IFJ reminds the CPNE that the Seventh Wage decision is legally binding under the Newspapers Employers (Conditions of Service) Act 1973 passed by the National Assembly.


    Representatives of both the CPNE and the APNS agreed to the Seventh Wage Board decision in October 8, 2001. Two years later it is time for both organizations to implement the agreement that they legally are bound by.


    The IFJ firmly believes that press freedom cannot thrive when journalists do not have adequate wages and conditions. Therefore we call upon the CPNE to implement the seventh Wage Bard Decision immediately fulfilling their legal obligation to do so.



    Yours sincerely,



    Christopher Warren

    President, IFJ



    and:



    8 October 2003


    Arif Nizami

    President

    All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS)

    Via Email: editor@nation.com.pk



    Dear Mr Arif Nizami,


    The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation of journalists representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, is deeply concerned about the excessive delay tactics employed by your organisation in the implementation of the Seventh Wage Board decision, announced on 8 October 2001, particularly in relation to journalists.


    According to information received from our affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), newspaper owners across the country have failed to implement a two year old wage decision, while some, mainly regional newspapers, have not even implemented the Sixth Wage Board decision, despite repeated calls from the national assembly, provincial assemblies and the PFUJ to do so. This has resulted in media workers not having received a wage increase in over eight years.


    The IFJ reminds the APNS that the Seventh Wage decision is legally binding under the Newspapers Employers (Conditions of Service) Act 1973 passed by the National Assembly.


    Representatives of both the CPNE and the APNS agreed to the Seventh Wage Board decision in October 8, 2001. Two years later it is time for both organizations to implement the agreement that they legally are bound by.


    The IFJ firmly believes that press freedom cannot thrive when journalists do not have adequate wages and conditions. Therefore we call upon the APNS to implement the Seventh Wage Bard Decision immediately fulfilling their legal obligation to do so.



    Yours sincerely,



    Christopher Warren

    President, IFJ



    Recommended action:


    Send appeals:


  • Expressing concern over the delay of the implementation of the Seventh Wage Board decision


  • Urging the Government of Pakistan, APNS and the CPNE to ensure that the decision is implemented


  • Urging the Government of Pakistan to implement the recommendations nominated by the PFUJ


  • Request a committee to oversee the implementation of the recommendations from the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists to ensure that legally-binding minimum wages and conditions are implemented.


    Appeals:


    General Pervez Musharraf

    President and Chief Executive of Pakistan

    Via Email: CE@pak.gov.pk


    CC. Mr. Shaikh Rasheed

    Minister of Information

    Government of Pakistan

    Via Email: Infominister@pak.gov.pk


    CC. Mr. Anwer Mahmood

    Secretary Information

    Government of Pakistan

    Via Email: minform@isb.comsats.net.pk


    CC. Mr. Sattar Lalika

    Minister of Labour

    Government of Pakistan

    Via Email: seclab58@hotmail.com


    Mr. Mir Shakilur-Rehman

    President

    Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE)

    Via Email: theapns@hotmail.com


    Arif Nizami

    President

    All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS)

    Via Email: editor@nation.com.pk



    For more information please contact Jacqui Park at ifj-asia@alliance.org.au


    Please copy appeals to the IFJ Asia Office at ifj-asia@alliance.org.au