PFUJ, Apnec to launch protest drive
ISLAMABAD- The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation (APNEC) have regretted the refusal of the employers to implement the 7th Wage Award announced by the Wage Board chairman Justice Raja Afrasiab Khan on October 8.
“The newspaper owners had never willingly given the wage awards announced in the past and they are once again trying to deny the journalists and newspaper workers of the their legal rights but we will not allow this to happen,” a joint statement issued by PFUJ, and APNEC said on Tuesday.
The statement, signed by the Apnec chairman, Abdul Hameed Chhapra; PFUJ president I H Raashed; Apnec secretary-general Pervez Shaukat; and PFUJ secretary-general Fauzia Shahid, said that the wage board chairman, had given the award after hearing the employers and their legal counsel as well as the employees’ representatives.
They regretted that the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) had criticized a judicious award given by the Supreme Court judge.
“The owners are legally bound to pay the award and we will not allow anyone to usurp the rights of the workers,” the union leader said.
They maintained that this was the lowest increase announced in the wages of journalists and, newspaper workers as compared to the previous one’s.
On the contrary, they observed, the government and private advertisement rates had been increased manifold during the last five years. “The government has also paid millions of rupees advertisement arrears to the newspaper managements besides allowing them duty, relaxation on the import of newsprint and now they have no moral or legal justification to reject the award,Â” the statement said.
They warned that the journalists and newspapers employees would launch a countrywide protest campaign if the award were not implemented.
The PFUJ and APNEC leaders thanked President General Pervez Musharraf for showing his personal interest in getting the award announced. They hoped that the president would also ask the newspaper owners to implement the award.
The statement also lauded the efforts of Labour minister Omar Asghar Khan.
They demanded of the government to give more power be given to the implementation tribunal.