LAHORE: Justice Hasnat Ahmad Khan, Chairman of the Wage Board for newspaper workers, said on Sunday he would announce the award after consultations with, and obtaining agreement of, newspaper owners and employees.

Speaking at a Meet the Press Programme of the Lahore Press Club, he said the interim relief for newspaper workers announced last week was agreed upon by owners and workers’ representatives. The award would be given with an eye on its implementation, Justice Hasnat added.

The Wage Board chairman said the government would give advertisements to those media houses only which would implement the wage award.

He said he was visiting various press clubs to listen to newspaper workers’ grievances. Hearings for the wage award would start from Karachi on April 19 and 20, Justice Hasnat said, asking workers to appear before the board and give their submissions after signing an affidavit.

The opposing side will be allowed to cross-examine an individual after his submission, he said.

Justice Khan explained different stages of the wage board award. He said litigation had delayed implementation of the last award.

Several journalists apprised the judge about problems being faced by newspaper workers, especially pay cuts and job security. Justice Hasnat advised them to bring their “evidence” (point of view) on record during his hearings at various stations in the country.

Justice Hasnat Ahmad Khan said contract employees had been included in wage award and he had asked media houses to raise their salaries as well.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2019