Journalists yesterday staged a countrywide demonstration condemning newspaper owners’ legal move to postpone implementation of the ninth wage board.
Criticising the recent writ petition against the wage board placed by Newspaper Owners’ Association of Bangladesh (Noab), they demanded that the government immediately publish gazette of the new salary structure.
They also demanded to stop “unethical” layoffs of journalists and media workers at different newspapers ahead of the implementation of the new wage board.
The protest rally, human chain, and procession were organised under the banner of Sangbadik-Shramik-Karmachari Oikya Parishad. The central event was held in front of Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka.
Speaking at the event, Mollah Jalal, a president of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ), said the government should take whatever legal steps are required against the writ petition filed by Noab, as it is their responsibility to implement the wage board.
“If the wage board is not implemented, then no one will stay in this profession,” Mollah added.
He also threatened to go for tougher movement if their demands are not met.
Sohel Haider Chowdhury, a general secretary of Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ), said they are constantly facing various obstacles and repression in regard to implementation of the wage board.
“Noab is connected to each of these matters,” he added.
Terming Noab as a “litigious” association, Alamgir Hossain Khan, president of Bangladesh Federal Union of Newspaper Press Workers, questioned how it dared to place writ petition against a government decision.
After the protest rally, journalists brought out a procession towards the secretariat, where they submitted a memorandum containing their demands to the information minister.
RALLY IN Mymensingh
Demanding immediate implementation of the ninth wage board for journalists, a protest rally was held in front of Mymensingh Press Club yesterday.
Journalists working for different newspapers joined the hour-long rally, organised by BFUJ and Mymensingh Union of Journalists (MUJ).
Condemning the writ petition placed by Noab, the speakers said for the interest of the country’s newspaper sector and the people involved with it, the wage board must be implemented soon.
Protesting the ongoing layoff of employees at different media houses, they also demanded a law for ensuring journalists’ job security.
MUJ president Ataul Karim Khokon, its secretary Mir Golam Mustafa and joint secretary Amit Roy addressed the rally, among others. A procession was also brought out in the town.