All Pakistan Newspapers employees Confederation (APNEC) has vowed to protect the freedom of expression at all cost and would not back down from launching a country-wide protest movement if there was any need of it, this was resolved 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 governent 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, the participants of the meeting said, it 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 organizations avoiding following relevant labor 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 if workers’ economic interests were hurt and it would take appropriate action to protect workers’ rights at all levels.
The meeting was attended by representatives of CBA unions and presidents of MWOs from all over the country and APNEC and PFUJ office-bearers.
All resolutions were adopted unanimously and the joint APNEC-PFUJ meeting also endorsed the decisions and resolutions adopted during the joint NEC and FEC meeting and All Pakistan Media Workers Convention.
The meeting was held under the central chairman of APNEC Shafiuddin Ashraf.
Among others, the meeting was also attended by Secretary General central Ikram Bukhari, Senior Vice-Chairman Dara Zafar, Vice Chairman Kaleem shamim ,Finance Secretary Irfan Ali,Vice chairman Karachi APNEC Rana Yusuf, Secretary MWO Karachi Obaidullah, Fawad Mehmood , Jamil Minhas, Mansoor Yusuf, Mohammad Yasin Mughal, Laiq Ahmed Khan, Ishtiaq Ahmed Azad, Atiqur Rehman, , Siddiq Anzar, Ishtiaq Bukhari, Tauqeer Khan Itmanzai, Mansoor Malik, Asghar Khan, Atif Arif, Asim Lateef, Tayyab Mumtaz, Khurshid Kasuri, Malik Arshad Awan and Tahir Nawaz.