KARACHI: A large number of journalists, media workers, rights activists and other members of civil society on Tuesday marched to the Governor House from Haroon House and held a demonstration there against what they alleged “retrenchment of workers, forced resignation, non-implementation of the Eighth Wage Award and salary cuts at Dawn”, said a statement issued by the Pakistan Herald Workers’ Union.

Speakers at the protest organised by the workers’ union warned the management of Dawn against any further retrenchment and cuts on benefits of workers and demanded of the government to protect economic rights of media workers. The protest was supported and joined by leaders of the Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and representatives of some labour unions.

The participants chanted slogans against censorship by state institutions and huge pay cuts and unjustified layoffs of media workers in the name of so-called business management and cost-cutting measures. The participants also criticised the role of the government which they said had badly failed to protect economic rights of media workers.

At the end of the demonstration, the general secretary of the Pakistan Herald Workers’ Union, Rishad Mahmood, presented a memorandum to an official of the Governor House.

The memorandum asked the federal government to take notice of the newspaper owners’ refusal to implement the Eighth Wage Award that had been adopted under the Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1973, with consensus by representatives of newspaper owners and employees. It also demanded reversal of pay cuts and an end to ongoing retrenchment of workers in the name of cost-cutting.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2020

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