The International Federation of Journalists
(IFJ) joins its affiliate the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in
welcoming the passing of the Industrial
Relations Act (IRA) 2012 unanimously by the Pakistan Senate.
The bill, which was moved by Senator Raza
Rabbani, will ensure protection of labourers' rights and addresses the formation
of trade unions, regulation of relations between employers and workers, and
avoidance and settlement of employer-employee disputes.
In a statement, PFUJ President and Chairman of
the All Pakistan Workers' Action Committee, Pervaiz Shaukat, congratulated the
workers of the country for this great achievement. He said workers formed the
backbone of any nation and therefore the government should ensure that their
rights are not compromised.
Shaukat further urged the government to pass
the bill in the National Assembly on March 12, thus making it law.
The PFUJ are currently fighting cases of over
1,700 employees of media groups in vairous labour courts and implementation
If the bill becomes law it will provide legal recognition
to over 400 unions and 70 associations registered in trans-provincial and
federal institutions, after responsibility for labour-related issues were
devolved to the provinces under the 18th Amendment of the Pakistan Constitution.
“The struggle for journalists’ working rights
and press freedom are inextricably linked,” IFJ Asia-Pacific
Director Jacqueline Park said.
“The achievement of true press freedom in Pakistan
and elsewhere depends on journalists enjoying the decent working conditions and
fair pay that underpin a quality media. The introduction of the new Industrial Relations Act will be a big
step forward for the protection of the working rights of journalists. The
efforts of the PFUJ and its members in this milestone cannot be understated."
Update: The bill passed unanimously through the National Assembly and President
Asif Ali Zardari, as advised by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, has assented
to and signed the Industrial Relations
Bill (2012) which has now been enacted as a law.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
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