ISLAMABAD: The federal executive council (FEC) of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists has strongly condemned the sacking of journalists and other staff from various news channels, and delay in payment of their salaries.
The FEC at its meeting, presided over by its president Idrees Bakhtiar, took stock of the difficulties being faced by the employees of many TV channels and newspapers. It expressed grave concern over the sacking of a large number of employees from Geo TV. The FEC was informed that during the last couple of months more than 150 employees of Geo have been sacked. They were forced to resign under the threat of termination of their services. In the recent past some other channels have also sacked a number of employees without any justification. They include Aaj, Samaa, Channel 5, Dawn and ARY.
The FEC feels, the resolution said, that the TV channels have been amassing huge money through the efforts of the working journalists and other employees. But instead of providing them physical and employment security the owners resort to terminating the services of many employees and this process regrettably continues. During this week, Geo channel has sacked the services of some 80 employees, the resolution said. It asked the government to take notice of these arbitrary actions of these channels.
The FEC expressed it concern over the delay in the payment of salaries to the employees of some channels. In the past some channels, including Aaj had agreed to pay the salaries on a regular basis, but have gone back on their promise and even current month’s salaries have not been paid. The FEC said that if the TV channels did not stop sacking their employees, start paying salaries on a regular basis, it would be constrained to boycott these channels. One option would be to stop them from covering events held in all the press clubs.
The FEC demanded that the channels and newspapers should ensure the security of their reporters, cameramen and other employees covering violence in various cities. The reporter and cameraman of Dunya TV were wounded in Karachi violence on Tuesday, and the responsibility lies on the management of this channel.
It demanded that in future all the channels provide flat jackets and helmets to their staff who are sent to cover violence. The management should also provide insurance coverage to their staff, it demanded.