Pakistan's President Supports Wage Award Implementation

 

 

The

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes a statement by Pakistan’s

President, Asif Ali Zardari, supporting journalists’ demands that the Seventh

Wage Award be implemented immediately.

 

According to

the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ),

an IFJ affiliate, the President put

on record this intent in a communication to the union.

 

“The IFJ appreciates

this long overdue admission that Pakistan’s Government has a special

responsibility to ensure compliance with the statutory provisions of the law

dealing with working conditions in the newspaper industry - the Newspaper

Employees (Conditions of Service) Act 1973,”

IFJ General Secretary Aidan White

said.

 

“For far too

long has the Act languished in official neglect,

while newspaper managements have actively blocked its most salutary provisions.”

 

The IFJ has

consistently stood by the PFUJ in its long struggle to secure full

implementation of the Seventh Wage Award,

which is nine years overdue. The last industry-wide wage revision occurred in

1996. Since then, the cost of living

has escalated immensely, generating

serious stresses for Pakistan’s

journalists.

 

“Under the

statute, the tenure of a wage award

is no more than six years. The circumstances clearly indicate that an Eighth

Wage Board should now be constituted under the law,

to determine appropriate levels of compensation for media workers,” White said.

 

Both houses

of Pakistan’s

Federal Parliament and the four provincial assemblies have already endorsed the

demand for the implementation of the wage award.

 

“With Pakistan’s

President also now explicitly endorsing the demand,

the IFJ calls on the newspaper industry to shed its resistance and honour the

principle that good journalism flourishes when its practitioners do not suffer

unreasonable economic adversity.”

 

For

further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ represents

over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries