Speakers urge media and labour unions to join hands
ISLAMABAD, June 29, 2010: Experts at a consultative meeting on ‘Converging Media’s Attention towards Labour Issues’ here on Tuesday urged the media and trade unions to work together in order to ensure free flow of information on labour issues. They stressed that the recently passed 18th Amendment has increased the responsibility of the media to be vigilant about the law-making process.
The meeting was organised by the Journalists for Democracy and Human Rights (JDHR) and Praxis Pakistan in collaboration with the Solidarity Centre at the National Press Club, Islamabad.
Addressing the participants, Chaudhry Talib Nawaz, president of the Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF), said that the formation of trade union is the right of every worker for the protection of his or her rights. He informed that the PWF is the largest organisation of the country having more than 900,000 members.
“The role of the leadership is declining both at the federation and union level,” said Zahoor Awan, regional general secretary of the PWF. He added: “It is a transition phase and we should promote bilateral talks instead of strikes.”
Osama Tariq, regional general secretary of the PWF, stressed on the need for raising awareness among women about their socio-economic uplift and political rights.
Zaigham Khan, representative of the Praxis Pakistan, said: “Unions and the media are both key players of civil society and they should cooperate with each other to achieve the broader goal of ensuring basic human rights for all.” “Media should give voice to the otherwise voiceless people,” he added.
Shafqat Munir, president of the JDHR, said: “The media and trade unions are essential part of democratic culture. It is the need of the hour to bridge the gap between them to ensure timely flow of information on labour issues.” He asked the media to highlight labour issues and take opinion from the labour leadership.