PFUJ to observe Wednesday as Black Day against retrenchment of media-persons
Islamabad, The supreme body of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) u Federal Executive Council (FEC) has announced to observe October 13 (Wednesday) as black day across the country against massive retrenchments in various media houses.
The decision was taken at the meeting of FEC, chaired by PFUJ President Pervez Shaukat that also decided that all the affiliated unions would hold demonstrations in their respective areas and press clubs by wearing black stripes on arms and display black flags at top of their offices. The FEC demanded that the enhancement of the wages in consonance with the prevalent price hike and inflation. The meeting noted with concern that the seventh wage award which was supposed to be operative from July 01, 2000 and yet to be implemented. While during the last 16 years the wages of the Federal and Provincial governments and even private sector has increased manifold while recently 50% increase has been given to the government employees. Yet the media workers still drawing the wages at the rate fixed on July 01, 1996. The meeting observed that the media houses have not implemented the labor laws, providing job security indicating job description, life security, compensation in the wake of disability, death and other eventualities.
It demanded that all the media workers should be provided with the requisite security gears and other paraphernalia while performing their assignments. The meeting noted with concern that the working conditions for media persons in conflict zones especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Fata have become dangerous and the killing of the media persons have become the order of the day. It also noted that over 162 media persons had already lost their lives while performing their assignments since 2000 in Pakistan, which is the highest around the world after Iraq. Castigating the indifferent approach of the media owners towards the life threat faced by the media persons due to which the precious lives of the media men remains at stake. It also noted that in majority of the cases whereby the media persons lost their lives, the concerned investigation agencies have not brought yet the culprits to the book. In a resolution, the FEC called for implementation of the 7th Wage Board Award, constitution of 8th wage board, provision of life security, job protection, and financial compensation to the families of the victims.
The meeting also called upon the Prime Minister to fulfill his commitment for launching the countrywide life insurance scheme for the media persons, victim fund, allocation a piece of land for the establishment of PFUJ secretariat in Islamabad and financial assistance for the establishment of endowment fund. It also pointed out that the proposal for the establishment of housing colonies for the working media persons in parts of the country, registration of media persons under EOBI and WWF, and provision of security gear for the media persons. It also decided for the formation of gender policy, capacity building programs, holding series of seminars and workshops for creation of awareness on current global and national issues with regard to reporting in conflict zones. The meeting decided for formulation of gender policy, setting up of female group for evolving strategy to ensure conducing environment for the females, enhancement of their professional skills besides protecting their rights. It condemned the employing of contract system both in electronic and print media and termed the menace as a calculated move to deprive the media persons from their legitimate basic financial right.
The PFUJ also decided to organize its bodies at all the major media centers and also accorded affiliation to Gujranawala Union of Journalists, while Hyderabada Union of Journalists and Multan Union of Journalists have been revved. It also decided to enhance the membership of PFUJ with the aim to boost the ongoing campaign for the implementation of wage award and other rights of the media community. The PFUJ reiterated that it would continue its struggle for upholding the principles of rule of law, humanity, democracy, supremacy of the constitution and made it clear that it will not allow anyone to sabotage the civilian democratic set up. It made also clear that PFUJ firmly believes in responsible journalism and strongly advocates to not to compromise on basic principle for the right to know. It would not become part of any willful malicious campaign by any party or group