LAHORE: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has announced a long march in the first week of April from Quetta to Islamabad to force the government and media owners to fulfil their legal obligations towards media workers who are facing financial hardships for the last two years.
“The anti-worker alliance between the government and the media owners has forced us to launch a struggle to achieve our rights,” read a statement issued by the PFUJ at the end of a three-day meeting of its Federal Executive Council (FEC) held at the press club with its president Shahzada Zulfiqar in the chair.
“Under this unholy alliance, the owners of media industry have surrendered their independence to the government to get a free hand to violate the labor laws and sack thousands of workers during the last two years, impose forcible pay cuts in their salaries, and default on the payment of workers’ salaries for months,” the statement said.
After reaching Islamabad, the marchers would stage a sit-in outside the Parliament House until their demands were accepted, it said, urging the civil society, legal fraternity and trade unions to support the cause.
The PFUJ also demanded the government devise a service structure for the electronic media employees on the pattern of Wage Award and called upon all the political parties to support this demand by moving a bill in the National Assembly.
It demanded the federal and the provincial governments immediately link their advertisement policies with the implementation of the Wage Award to all employees working in the newspapers.
The PFUJ rejected the illegal practice of hiring media workers on contract and criticized provincial labor departments for overlooking this violation of laws.