Molla Jalal Uddin, president of BFUJ, said:"We were deceived several times, but now we don't want to be deceived again. The government has to publish the gazette by June 15"
Journalists and employees of different media houses on Thursday formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club to press for their 14-point demand, including gazette notification of the ninth wage board by June 15.
Around 100 demonstrators, under the banner of “Sangbadik Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad”, also demanded their due salaries and festival bonuses before the Eid festival next week.
While addressing the demonstration, leaders of the Parishad warned that they will launch a tougher movement if their demands are not fulfilled.
Molla Jalal Uddin, president of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ), said: "We were deceived several times, but now we don't want to be deceived again. The government has to publish the gazette by June 15."
He said: “The government earlier said it would declare the ninth wage board by June 15. We believe they will declare it on time.”
The government on January 29 constituted the 9th Wage Board to propose enhanced salary and other benefits for journalists and employees in newspapers and news agencies.
The BFUJ head threatened that the journalists will blockade streets and will not return home unless their demands are met.
BFUJ Secretary General Saban Mahmud and Dhaka Journalist Union President Abu Zafor Surzo, among others, spoke on the occasion.
The journalist leaders alleged that several media outlets have fired staff without showing any valid cause, while many others did not even pay their employees for months.
Quader: Final decision in June
A final decision on the ninth wage board for journalists will be made next month, said Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader.
This was decided at a cabinet committee meeting formed to review the ninth wage board award for journalists and newspaper employees, at the auditorium of the Information Ministry on Thursday.
The minister said: "We reached consensus on implementing the ninth wage board at the meeting, and the final decision on it will be made as soon as possible."
Before announcing the final decision, a joint meeting with stakeholders will be held on June 12 at the information minister's office, added Quader.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Information Minister Hasan Mahmud, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque, State Minister for Labour and Employment Monnujan Sufian, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, State Minister of Cultural Affairs KM Khalid, and State Minister for Information Ministry Md Murad Hasan, were present at the meeting.