Trade unionists hail move to unify PFUJ factions
KARACHI: A move to unify different factions of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists has infused a new spirit among trade union workers and highlighted the need for bringing all trade unions on a single platform so that the present trend of workers’ exploitation through contract employees could be checked and their due rights could be attained.
Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Friday, Karamat Ali of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler) recalled that in the absence of an effective organisation, problems of workers were not being solved, like in the media where their workers were facing all sorts of insecurity in their job.
Prominent labour leaders Habibuddin Junedi of the All-Pakistan Trade Union Organisation, Jafar Khan of the Muttahida Labour Federation, Rehana Yasmin of the Garments Workers Union, Latif Mughal of the Peoples Labour Union and others were also present.
Mr Karamat paid tribute to all leaders of the three factions of the PFUJ for their unification move and said that because of PFUJ split the government, media houses and anti-democratic forces got the opportunity to impose their agenda on the journalist fraternity.
Mr Karamat and Mr Junedi paid tribute to the late veteran leaders of the PFUJ Minhaj Barna and Nisar Osmani whose leadership throughout remained a source of inspiration for the workers.
They said that they had struggled along with representative bodies of journalists and the press — the PFUJ and All Pakistan Newspaper Employees Confederation — for freedom of the press and for the cause of democracy, and before split the PFUJ had played an important role in many workers’ movements as they were not only outstanding leaders of journalists but also of the workers’ movement.
The Piler chief paid tribute to the members of journalists solidarity committee I.A. Rahman, Hussain Naqi, Muhammad Ziauddin, Nasir Zaidi, Khawar Naeem Hashmi, Idrees Bakhtiar and others for extending their cooperation in their efforts for unity.
He assured full cooperation from the workers movements and hoped that all issues would be settled with the final announcement about the merger likely to be made by the end of August.
He said after the Islamabad meeting, reservations being expressed by certain quarters was a matter of concern but hoped that all issues would be resolved with the framework of the committee.
In response to a question, he said no doubt the constitutional provisions regarding merger of the PFUJ factions be followed but the course of unity be also pursued as decided by the leaders of the factions.
He dispelled an impression that the merger move had been hijacked by any media house and said that no media house was capable of hijacking the PFUJ merger as it would solely be the decision of the journalists.
He agreed that there would be no guarantee about any future split, but said that the future setup of the organisation ought to have all safeguards so that after the merger there should not be any split. He said if he and his colleagues could be of any help in this regard they would love to do their bit as PFUJ unity would also help them to organise the labour movement afresh.