ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The 8th Wage Board for Newspaper Employees headed by its Chairman Shahid Mehmood Khokhar will hold its first meeting in Islamabad on Thursday, amid expectation that it would announce an interim relief for media workers.
Shahid Mehmood Khokhar-headed 8th Wage Board includes 10 members comprising Hameed Haroon (Dawn Group), Shoaibuddin and Rameeza Nizami (Nawa-i-Waqt Group), Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami (Daily Pakistan), Asif Zubairi (Business Recorder), Sarmad Ali (Jang Group), Sahibzada Zulfiqar (PFUJ), Shafiuddin Ashraf (APNEC), Bakhtzada Yousafzai (Daily Aaeen) and Nasir Chishti (Jang Workers Union).
The 8th Wage Board Award was announced by the federal government for a period of 180 days on April 9, 2018 after it had to bow down to pressure exerted by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ)-led journalist organizations under the movement ‘‘Tehreek-e-Haqooq Media Workers”.
The journalist organizations maintained that 8th Wage Board must be formed under the Newspapers Employees (Conditions of Service) Act 1973 as newspapers employees had been receiving salaries set in 2000 because of subsequent governments’ negligence in fulling their legal responsibility.
Though 8th Wage Board was formed twice on September 16, 2013 and June 6, 2014 with Justice (retd) Sakhi Hussain Bukhari and Justice (retd) Raza Khan as Chairmen respectively. However, neither both the boards convened any meeting or announce interim relief for media workers despite received salaries, perks & privileges.
Sources said that it’s highly anticipated that the new 8th Wage Board would announce an interim relief in its first meeting. They said that previous wage boards were headed by retired judges; however, now a young promising legal expert and lawyer has been tasked to head the 8th Wage Board.
They also said that since the 8th Wage Board for Newspapers Employees was formed for 180 days, it would expire after the prescribed period unless its tenure is expanded.