LAHORE - Like other parts of the globe, 'May Day' was observed here in the Punjab capital on Thursday by the labourers in commemoration of heroic sacrifices made by the Chicago workers on 1 May 1886. The labourers and working-class took out rallies, processions and staged demonstrations for the protection of their rights and social security, demanding the government to increase their wages considerably in the age of price-hike and inflation. The National Trade Union Federation Pakistan (Punjab) took out a rally from the Shimla hill to the GPO chowk via Lukshmi chowk. Hundreds of people from various walks of life also participated in the rally. The participants of the rally were carrying placards, banners and red flags and they were also chanting slogans in favour of their demands. They demanded the government to immediately issue the notification regarding Rs 6,000 as the minimum salary of workers. They also demanded the government to reinstate the labourers who were terminated from their services. They further demanded that the pending cases in the labour courts should immediately be disposed of and the system of labour inspection also be restored. The Packages Muttahida Labour Union staged a protest demonstration outside the Lahore Press Club on Thursday. A good number of workers of the packages factory headed by Abdul Rauf participated in the protest demonstration and demanded the ILO, Prime Minister of Pakistan and Sweden government to take strict notice of highhandedness of the factory management. They said that more than 3,500 workers of this factory were being paid only 26-days salary as the administration was deducting the salary of the holidays, which was injustice. They also demanded the government to ensure the implementation of labour laws in the packages factory. The All Pakistan Trade Union Federation also took out a rally from the Lahore Press Club to the GPO chowk in connection with 'May Day'. A great number of industrial workers and women labourers attended the rally besides the representatives of the trade union federation. Addressing the rally, general secretary of the federation Gulzar Ahmed Chaudhry said that the labourers in Pakistan were ready to raise voice for their rights. He also demanded the rulers to resolve the problems being faced by the working-class in Pakistan. The speakers, on this occasion, said that the government should set up technical centres to eradicate poverty and unemployment. The working-class of Pakistan also observed the International Labour Day under the aegis of the Pakistan Workers Confederation by holding rallies and taking out processions here in the City. The procession was taken out from the Bakhtiar Labour Hall and a good number of workers of different labourer organisation participated in the procession. The general secretary Mr Khurshid Ahmed led it. The rally urged the Prime Minister to check the price-hike and freeze the prices of essential commodities and raise the wages of the workers at least Rs 10,000 and also increase the salaries of the semi-skilled, skilled and supervisory workers. Meanwhile, Punjab Minister for Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Dr Tanveer-ul-Islam has said that leadership and workers of the Pakistan Peoples Party has scarified their lives for the restoration of democracy in the country and these sacrifices would be remembered side by side with the martyrs of Chicago. He expressed these views while paying tribute to the Chicago martyred, here Thursday. He said that labourers and trade workers were the real asset of PPP and the founder of PPP, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and chairperson Benazir Bhutto had created awareness among the poor people to struggle for their basic rights. Dr Tanveer-ul-Islam further said that the PPP had a long history and traditions of sacrifices and struggle for strengthening the democracy in Pakistan, which was not different then the struggle of May Martyrs. The minister said that our struggle would continue and one day the people of Pakistan would get their rights. Meanwhile, the Quaid-e-Azam Labour Federation organized a seminar that was chaired by Mian Khalid Mehmood. Rich tributes were paid to Chicago martyrs. Khaild Mehmood while addressing on the occasion said that labourers were passing trough the most difficult phases of their lives. He demanded that their wages should be increased. On this occasion, labour leader Haji Ahmed Mehmood said that more industries should be encouraged to end unemployment in the country. The PPP also took out a rally to mark the day. It started from Lahore Railway Station and culminated at Punjab Assembly, where senior party leaders including Jehangir Badr, Ghulam Abbas and Zekria Butt addressed the workers. Tributes paid to Chicago martyrs The spokesman of the Pakistan International Airlines' Flight Engineers Association (FENA) paid tributes to Chicago martyrs, in whose memory May 1 is commemorated to highlight the rights of workers worldwide. He said that it was distressing that in this era; the PIA management had abused its privilege and discretionary powers by arbitrarily terminating the services of 80 flight engineers in violation of rules on 17 March 2008. The spokesman stated that the PIA management, as a state owned corporation, was bound to function in accordance with rules of corporations, duly approved by the competent authority defined under PIAC ACT 1956. While it was the prerogative of the federal government to question the PIA as to why after investing approximately $ 85 million in 2007, in addition to spare parts inventory valued at approx $ 20 million, it had taken the aircraft out of operation, he added. As law-abiding citizens of Pakistan, who were regularly employed by the PIA and having served for over 25 years, we had a right to seek an explanation asking under which rule, the airline management was authorised to terminate services of the regular permanent employees, he said. The spokesman said that there was only the precedent of Mandatory Early Retirement or Voluntary Early Retirement, which had been offered since 1997. He expressed his disgust at the discriminatory and malafide treatment given to highly qualified professionals, who had served the airline with dedication and commitment. He said that a state owned corporation was answerable to the people of Pakistan and taxpayers who were the real owners of the PIA. The corporation was bound to abide by the Constitution of Pakistan and function within the limits prescribed by PIA rules, regulations and various decisions of Supreme Court of Pakistan, the spokesman concluded.