PAKISTAN: Rallies highlight plight of workers

Friday 2 May 2014

Date: 1 May 2014

Type: News

Source: Labour Watch Pakistan

Keywords:Labor day protest

KARACHI, May 1: The eve of May Day saw several labour unions joining hands to hold programmes, vigils and rallies across the city the biggest of which was the one starting from Regal Chowk to the Karachi Press Club. There were banners and placards highlighting the plight of workers in Pakistan. Red flags fluttered all around as the candles and torches burned bright on Wednesday night. Speaking on the occasion, Kaneez Fatima, president of the Pakistan Trade Union Federation, said her fight was, is and will be for the workers and labourers overlooked by the state. “Is the state providing your children education? Is it providing your children with jobs? No! This is because the jobs are given to political party workers. There is no appreciation for the hard-working labourer or his family. No one cares for them. So they have to look after themselves,” she said. Shahnoor, president of the Awami Workers Party Karachi, said that workers and labourers were acknowledged all over the world but they were still fighting for their rights in Pakistan. “There are laws in place for your benefit that are being overlooked here,” he regretted. “According to the Standing Order and Factory Act you are to work eight hours a day, you are to get bonuses, you are to get holidays, medical allowance, gratuity and pension along with other benefits but do you? Today, we demand all these things and a minimum wage of Rs15,000 with Rs10,000 pension,” he said. Syed Zulfiqar Shah, president of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation Workers Union, urged all workers to stay united. “You have to join hands and stay united in order to be able to kill the feudal mentality,” he said. The alliance demanded 100 per cent increase in salaries in view of inflation, unemployment allowance, daily wage earners be made permanent employees, compulsory working hours be reduced from eight to six, reinstatement of the dismissed PTCL and KESC employees, trade unions be empowered in all government and private companies, representation of workers in the parliaments, allocation of lands for housing schemes for workers and unions for domestic employees.###

See online : Labour Watch Pakistan

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