APNEC-PFUJ rejoinder to APNS
KARACHI- The All Pakistan Newspaper Employees Confederation (APNEC) and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) have, in a rejoinder to All Pakistan Newspapers Society, appealed to President Pervez Musharraf to take cognizance of the “inaccurate and misleading” representation made by the APNS with a view to pressuring the government to do its bidding.
In a memorandum to the president, they have submitted that the APNS members are refusing to implement the 7th Wage Award announced by Justice (retired) Raja Afrasiab Khan. They pointed out that the APNS members themselves were part of the deliberations of the Wage Board, held to arrive at a final award. Apnec and PFUJ have contended that the APNS statement is an attempt to confuse the authorities and evade implementation of the award.
The employees’ organizations accused the APNS of trying to drive a wedge between journalists and other newspaper employees by giving the impression that they were prepared to implement the award for journalists but not for others. They said the APNS’s contention that the award would create a superrich class of thousands of non-journalists was absurd, as amid today’s inflation and economic hardships no working class could become superrich.
As newspaper owners did in the aftermath of all previous awards, this time, too, they were terming the award overly extravagant. “Yet, after the hue and cry, they extract concessions of billions of rupees from the government in the shape of withdrawal of excise duty, with-holding tax, import duty, and a 25 per cent raise in government advertisement tariff.
On the APNS demand for the repeal of the 1973 Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, the Apnec-PFUJ rejoinder maintained that the Act just ensured provision of the workers rights and privileges, which by law could not be denied to them.