Published Date: May 5, 2011
WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY: ADVOCATING WORKERS? RIGHTS FOR SAFER, HEALTHIER LIVES
Speakers at a seminar on Wednesday urged the government to strictly enforce labour laws to make workplaces safer. The seminar titled “Remember the dead and fight for the living” was organised here by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) to commemorate Workers Memorial Day. The day is celebrated annually on April 28 to honour workers who have been killed, disabled or injured by their work.
The speakers highlighted the plights of workers across the country and their right for safer and healthier lives. Loopholes and changes required to meet the objectives in the current status of labour laws were also discussed. The speakers emphasised registration of all workers to ensure that they receive social security benefits under the Pakistan Workers Welfare Fund, along with insurance, medical, old age, and other fringe benefits.
Speaking on the occasion, General Secretary PTV Workers Union, Akram Bunda called for an improvement in organisational behaviour system to ensure minimum wages for labourers, restore labour inspection teams and to devise a management framework order on labour.
Former MNA of PPPP Chaudhry Manzoor highlighted the importance of the Workers Memorial Day and accounted various historic labour struggles, including the Trade Union Act of 1926, post independence subtraction of labour rights and suppression of labours under the Zia regime. He said that most political elite are unanimous on repression of labours and in denying them their rights. “The reason is that most of them are industrialists and don’t want to have any regulation undermining their interests,” he said.