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Wages, safety, are issues for Pakistan journalists

Written by pat_perkel

By Rural Media Networks Pakistan
All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation (APNEC) has vowed to protect freedom of expression at all cost and will not back down from launching a country-wide protest movement according to a resolution from at the three-day meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of APNEC held in Lahore last week.
Nine resolutions were adopted unanimously at the conclusion of the NEC meeting.
Criticizing the governments for persistently ignoring this pressing issue for the past 14 years, the meeting urged all provincial and federal governments to announce dearness allowance to counteract the effects of the stupendous inflation prevalent in the country since the year 2000.
The participants of the meeting also called for the urgent formation of a relevant body for the Eighth Wage Board Award, besides the appointing the chairman of the Implementation Tribunal for Newspaper
Employees (ITNE), adding that both these issues had been taken too lightly by successive governments in the past.
Reminding the federal government that on March 20 this year, the federal ministry of information and broadcasting had formally announced the appointment of the chairman of ITNE and constitution of
a body for the 8th Wage Board Award after a county-wide sit-in jointly organized by APPNEC and PFUJ, the NEC meeting urged the government to constitute the wage board award body within a week and appoint ITNE
chairman and members from all provinces at the same time.
Otherwise, participants of the meeting reserved the right to approach courts in collaboration with its affiliate CBA unions after the lapse of this week-long period.
The NEC meeting demanded of the owners of television channels to abandon delaying tactics in providing facilities to their employees, besides urging them to regularize all workers irrespective of their working status, adding that even those working on contractual basis should immediately be made permanent. The government was urged to play its due role in this regard.
It urged the government to take action on organizations that are avoiding following relevant labour laws and also called for strictly adhering to rules necessitating group insurance of all employees. Meanwhile, the media
owners were also urged to take immediate steps to provide adequate protection to all working journalists.
Condemning the brutal attack on the life of prominent anchorperson Hamid Mir, the NEC meeting registered its protest against the killing of a large number of journalists all over Pakistan, including Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab. They said that perpetrators of all such attacks should immediately be apprehended and given exemplary punishments to deter the occurrence of similar incidents in future.
The meeting also called for payment of adequate compensation to heirs of journalists killed in the line of duty, adding that journalists should be paid as much compensation as were being awarded to security personnel.
After a thorough discussion on the situation regarding Geo and Jang, it was highlighted that APNEC would not tolerate harm to workers’ economic interests and it would take appropriate action to protect workers’ rights at all levels.
photo credit: somegeekintn via photopin cc

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