Media owners lose battle against 7th Wage Board Award | Pakistan Today

Media owners lose battle against 7th Wage Board Award

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday rejected four identical petitions filed by the All Pakistan News Society (APNS) and the owners of different media houses, challenging the Newspapers Employees (Conditions of Service) Act 1973, commonly known as the 7th Wage Board Award.
The petitions were pending before the SHC for over six years while a division bench headed by SHC Chief Justice Musheer Alam had reserved the judgment after the last hearing. Earlier, the counsels including those of APNS, Pakistan Herald Publications Limited (Daily Dawn), Deputy Attorney General Mian Khan Malik, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Pakistan Herald Workers Union and Jang Employees Union gave detailed arguments.
The petitions had challenged the validity of the NESCA 1973, vires and justification of 7th Wage Award and the powers of the Implementation Tribunal for Newspaper Employees (ITNE), Islamabad. The litigation was initiated after the announcement of the 7th Wage Board Award which was supposed to the operative from July 1, 2000, but it could be implemented as a result of the litigation, as the media owners who refused to accept it as a legal document.
The media houses at the personal and the organisational (APNS) level had filed separate petitions and applications before various judicial forums and succeeded in manoeuvring delay in the implementation of the wage award by securing restraint orders from the courts of law on various pretexts and misrepresentations, as well as wrong interpretation of law.
The newspapers’ employees are suffering a lot for over a decade and being forced by the their owners to work on salary package given under 6th award which fixed the minimum salary and benefits for journalists keeping in view prices of daily use items, POL, electricity, gas and others items prevailing in the early 1996.

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