Implementation Tribunal for Newspapers Employees (ITNE) chief for newspaper industry problems resolution -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Implementation Tribunal for Newspapers Employees (ITNE) chief for newspaper industry problems resolution

ISLAMABAD- Chairman, Implementation Tribunal for Newspapers Employees (ITNE), Justice Jawed Nawaz Gandapur said that the Tribunal will play ifs role in implementation of the 7th Wage Board Award and resolving the newspaper industry problems.

In an interview, the Chairman ITNE called upon the authorities to take stock of the problems facing the industry so that the Wage Award is implemented in letter and spirit.

He said that the Wage Board is constituted after every 5 years under an Act with equal representation from owners and employees to announce an Award by taking into account the changing economic situation in the country and “it must be accepted unanimously.”

“As the Wage Award had equal representation from amongst both the employees and the newspapers, there should be no reservation regarding implementation of the Award.”

The Chairman, however, said that the owners also have grievances and to pave way for effective implementation of the Wage Award, the concerned authorities should ensure that there is no discrimination.

“The newspapers should be categorised in accordance with circulation and the advertisements should he ‘money wise’ so that none of the newspapers is treated step-motherly,” he pleaded.

He also called upon the owners to give employees their due share and said, “if they earn a sufficient amount, they should also sympathetically consider the needs of the employees.”

On implementation of the Wage Award, he said that the newspaper industry should not be compared with other industries as other industries pay to the government, but in this case, the government pays to them.

“Here the government is paying them something and if they are well-off, the hardships of the employees should also be taken into consideration,” Gandapur said.

When asked about ITNE’s role, Gandapur said that “the Tribunal will go by the law for implementation of the Wage Award. My job is to get the Award implemented.”

He said that so far nobody has moved the Tribunal and as soon as any body seeks ITNE’s role, it will proceed accordingly.

Gandapur dispelled the impression that ITNE was against the newspaper owners. “We always go by the law and there are decisions in favour of the owners,” he said and quoted the decision of May 31, 2001 announced in favour of the “Daily Jang” in a suo motu case.

Asked about the necessity of the ITNE, the Chairman said when the government revises pay scale she is herself to pay the salaries. But, in case of the Wage Award, there are two parties with one from the private sector that necessitates existence of the Tribunal.

Gandapur advocated more power for ITNE to resolve the newspaper industry problems. “Not only its existence but also vesting more powers with the ITNE, would help make the Tribunal more potent and resolve the industry problems.”

“At least the ITNE should have the power to act accordingly where it feels that the government policy is being flouted,” he said.

Quoting some of the decision in which the newspapers were ordered to pay appropriately to the employees, the Chairman underlined the need for mediation to resolve problems.

“We also prefer mediation whenever situation arises,” he said and quoted the example of a case of one Zakir Hussain whose outstanding amount worth 110,000 has been ordered to be paid in one year.

“The Tribunal also issues ‘consent degrees’ to facilitate both the owners and the employees,” he maintained and referred to another case in which the owner was asked to pay an amount of Rs 36,000 to the employee in 12 equal instalments.

“So any notion regarding prejudice in working of the Tribunal bears no credence as the Tribunal always go by the law and fulfil the requirements of justice,” he said.

Source: Business Recorder
Date:2/19/2002