Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Media persons observe "black day" against massive retrenchment

Media persons observe "black day" against massive retrenchment

ISLAMABAD Oct 13 :- On the call given by Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) media persons through out the country observed “Black Day” on Wednesday and staged rallies to express their resentment and dismay over the massive retrenchments in the media out lets.

The reports reaching at the PFUJ Secretariat revealed that the demonstrations were staged in Rawalpindi-Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Abbotabad, Quetta, Karachi, Multan and Faisalabad, a news release of PFUJ said.

The protest rally in Islamabad was led by the President PFUJ Pervaiz Shoukhat, while President RIUJ Ishafiq Sajjid and his cabinet also attended besides a large number of other media-persons.

The media workers constrained to stage demonstration in the wake of massive removal of the media workers from all most all the media outlets especially from the Nawa-i-Waqat, Jang, Geo, Dawn Group, Aaj T.V. ARY News, News-one, Business Plus, Aaj Kal, Daily Times, Waqat T.V. Rohi, Dharati, Jinnah, Alshariq, Ausaf. Channel-%, and other media houses.

The speakers while addressing the protest rallies said that media persons working in these media houses have been working for decades, but now summarily removed from the service without any cogent reason that clearly indicates that “there is no rule of law” in media organisations, and that there is also no job security for them.

They said it is pity that such media channels, newspapers and their owners who round-the-clock give sermons of human rights, exposing those agencies in the government and private sectors who violate laws, were themselves depriving people of their basic rights and there was no job security for their own employees, and they are summarily removed from service.

They said that the highhandedness of media tycoons can be adjudged from the fact that a majority of media related employees and journalists from the services were working in various organisations for many years. But as such they were lured for better jobs with commitments that they would be given job security besides attractive packages.

“These employees worked with zeal and enthusiasm round-the-clock and successfully aired such channels to achieve ultimate success, thereafter they were made victims of “so-called financial constrains” and subsequently, removed from services,” they added.

Criticizing the media owners acts of removing the large number of employees, they said “such practice is in vague in all media oulets and during the last 180 days over 870 employees have summarily been removed from service, indicating the cruelty and malfide intentions of media owners,”

PFUJ in its reaction pointed out that when media owners apply for acquiring licenses for launching transmission of their channels, they make tall claims about their extra-ordinary excellent financial health. However, after making ground in the market and when they start fetching profit, such owners with the lust of wealth resort to restructuring of the organizations ultimately terminating the employees.

PFUJ pointed out that it is the duty of the PEMRA to stake stock of such uncalled for and arbitrary acts of media owners and appropriate steps be taken for restraining the media owners from removing their workers without any prior notice against the set principles of natural justice, fair play, equity and Labour Laws.

Why PEMRA is keeping a mum and why it never comes to the rescue of the “removed employees.” It is the duty of the PEMRA to oversee and monitor that media organizations are running their channels as per terms and conditions“ which bounds them to show ample financial resources to run the channel at the time of issuing lisances, but after making them on air why they resort retrenchments,” the PFUJ questioned.

PFUJ demanded of the government to take stock of the situation and ensure implementation of the labour laws in the media organisation which has become a “no-go area” for law and there prevails a law of the jungle.

PFUJ urged international media, and human rights organisations to condemn the arbitrary acts of removing a large number of media persons from their jobs.

Shamsul Islam Naz
Secretary General
Cellular +92(0)300 8665523

+92(0)321 8665523

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