KARACHI          -         Sindh Minister for Information and Local Government Syed Nasir Hussain Shah on Friday said that the labour and working class people were the backbone of the society and they had vital role in development of the country.

In a statement regarding Labour Day, he said that PPP had always raised voice for the rights of labour. Nasir Hussain Shah said that those societies never progressed which did not fulfill the rights of its workers. He said the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) also urged us to pay the workers their wages before their sweat dries.

Nasir Hussain Shah said that it was difficult to count the sacrifices made by the workers for the development of the country after the independence of Pakistan.

Meanwhile a demonstration was arranged here on Friday on the occasion of the International Labor Day, which expressed deep concern over the onslaught of coronavirus, and demanded of the government to ensure its social distancing SOPs strictly at factories and workplaces to save the lives of workers.

The demo organized by National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) and Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF), was attended by a large number of workers and leaders of different workers’ unions, federations and civil society. Workers carried red flags and banners while maintaining social distance and they raised slogans.

Nasir Mansoor of NTUF said that they were celebrating the 134th international Labor Day in such a circumstances, when coronavirus had become a huge global challenge, and it had already devastated the working class. So far more than 3 million people in 205 countries were affected and more than 2 hundred 30 thousand of them have already died.

He said that both developed and developing countries had failed to contain this virus. He said the outdated healthcare system at global level had fallen on its knees. Millions of lives were at threat of death due to the faulty policies of rulers. The conservative governments in countries like USA, UK, Italy, Spain and Iran showed criminal negligence to contain the virus at early stage, and today whole world was suffering the dangerous consecutives.

He further said the countries like China and Vietnam, where some traces of socialism were still present, showed a better response than the industrial western states.

Mansoor said this global virus had created a grave threat for mankind in the whole world and even if the people succeeded to fight this disease, a grave economic crisis would greet them. Global economies have already gone into the ICU and the states were struggling to survive.

International organizations like the UNO, WHO and ILO have proved to be dead horses and they have failed miserably to tackle the crisis. Big international brands that earn profits of billions of dollars annually have already cancelled their orders, while the international lending institutions instead of waiving off their loans are giving more loans to the poor nations to further enslave them. Multinational pharmaceutical companies are looking for a windfall from this global crisis.

Zehra Khan of HBWWF said that so far 20 crore workers had already been rendered jobless. More than one billion other workers, about 38 percent of total labor force, were facing pay cuts or joblessness. Due to lockdowns more than 2.70 billion workers, 81 percent of global workforce, were facing cuts in their real wages. This was the most serious economic crisis after the Great Depression of 1929-30.

The capitalists’ states instead of giving relief to the workers are giving historic relief to the wealthy classes.

The USA has announced a relief package of $2 trillion for her industrialists. The UK is finalizing a relief package of 330 billion Euros, while Germany of 85 billion Euros. Following suit the poor countries like Pakistan are also trying to give relief packages to their capitalists and industrialists.

Karamat Ali of National Labour Council said that the Pakistani government due to its lack of ability had put the lives of 22 Crore people in uncertainty. Though the healthcare experts have already warned that the virus could take a huge life tool, the government steps to improve the healthcare sector are shamefully meager. Doctors are fighting this virus even without any facilities, while the so-called security state has already surrendered and playing the role of a spectator. It is shying away from saving lives of people.

It has failed to provide people food and cash assistance. It has betrayed the workers who are being rendered jobless and also denied of their wages.

The Pakistani industrialists despite getting huge packages from government have so far sacked more than 6 million workers. As per an estimate, this number may climb to 12 million.

Habibuddin Junaidi of People’s Labour Bureau said that the government had allowed many industries to run under standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), but the ground realities showed that these SOPs would not be followed by majority of industries and the lives of millions of workers would be put on stake.

Other speaker in the protest said that this situation demanded that working class should reorganized itself. Mankind could not left to the mercy of handful of capitalists and vested interests.

It needed that masses and workers should join hands and create a better world with better facilities of healthcare and education, social security and security of job.

 

The demo participants demanded that the forced sacking of labors during lockdown should be stopped and all workers included home-based workers should be given their wages. The industrialists should be compelled to follow the government instructions to save lives of workers. All foreign loans should be defaulted and this money should be spend on welfare of masses. All citizens should be registered with social security institutions. The budget of health and education should be made equal to the budget of defense. All anti-environment projects should be halted.

 

Those spoke included Gul Rahman (NTUF), Saeed Baloch (Pakistan Fisherflok Forum), Sajjad Zahir (Progressive Writer Association), Saeeda Khatoon (Baldia Factory Fire Association), Saira Feroz (United HB Garment Workers Union), Khaliq Zardagan (Lyari Awami Mahaz), Comrade Mazhar (JKNPP), Khizar Qazi (Ujala TV), Comrade Sultan (JKNPP), Aqib Hassan (J & P Coats), Dr. Raiz Sheikh (ZABIST), Zubair Ur Rahman (columnist), Shakil Kanga (Jang Union), Faheem Siddiqui (KUJ) and Shabnam Azam (HBWWF).

 

 

Mayor pays rich tributes to labourers on laobur day

 

Karachi

 

Mayor Karachi Wasim Akhtar on Friday paid tributes to labourers on the eve of World Labour Day and said that this reminded us the struggle of labourers.

 

 

In his statement on World Labour Day, Akhtar said that labourers were still struggling for their rights. He said that daily wagers were facing hardships to feed their families during Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. “Billions of labourers rendered jobless due to lockdown across the world,” he added.

 

 

The Mayor said that prosperity of country laid in prosperity of labourers, adding that the day teaches to protect rights of the labourers.

 

“Our religion, Islam gurantees rights of the labourers, he said and demanded of the government to take effective measures for betterment of the labourers. He was of the view that provision of ration and essential commodities to labourers who went jobless after the lockdown was the need of the hour. Khidmat e Khalq Foundation has provided ration to 150,000 labourers so far,” he added.

 

 

Akhtar said that current situation demanded the government to provide helping hands to the needy people including the labourers. He said that 81 percent labourers in Pakistan neither registered in any organizations nor they could avail thier rights.

 

“The labourers have achieved some of their rights in a struggle span over 100 years but there are a lot of rights still to get,” he said. He was of the view that lockdown and coronavirus pandemic had added miseries of lower class people.

 

He also asked labourers to raise voice for their rights so that poverty and joblessness could be eradicated.

 

 

The Mayor urged that Labor Day should be observed with woe to expedite measures for betterment of the labourers and stop exploiting them so that they could play their role as respectable citizens.