PR LAHORE - Thousands of electricity distribution, transmission and generation employees observed “National Day for Promotion of Health and Safety” under the aegis of All Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electricity Workers Union (CBA) to prevent tragic fatal accidents claiming lives of line staff.

The event was observed in various cities by holding safety conferences, procession and seminar in the various major cities. Hundreds of electricity workers took out procession from Bakhtiar Labour Hall, Lahore and marched through Nisbat, Mcleod and Abbot Road carrying banners demanding “provide safe working conditions and prevent the tragic accidents of electricity workers”. The widows of the martyred workers also joined the protest procession.

Thereafter, a safety conference was held at Bakhtiar Labour Hall under the aegis of the union which was attended by a large number of trade union representatives and workers and was presided over by General Secretary Khurshid Ahmed and was addressed by Haji Muhammad Younus, Osama Tariq, Rana Abdul Shakoor, Muzaffar Mateen, Rana Muhammad Akram and others.

On the occasion, NTDC General Manager Dr Rana Abdul Jabbar and Wapda Hydel General Manager Fazal Kareem also addressed the workers and appealed to them not to work without observing safety at workplace and assured full support to the workers for ensuring safe working conditions for them.

Director Area Office ILO, Ingrid Christensen sent a message appreciating the working class for safe work. Khurshid appealed to the workers to safeguard their lives and health at work place and refuse to work in case of absence of observance of safety regulation. He informed that although the rate of fatal accident has decreased in current year - numbering 83 in the year 2016-l7and numbering 28 since July 2017. It requires concerted efforts to bring it to zero, he stressed.

The conference, in a resolution, called upon the government to establish Independent Labour Inspection Machinery in accordance with ILO Convention No 81 and adopt Progressive Safety and Health Laws in the country. The speakers said that Pakistan is considered one of the ten major countries which have recorded the largest fatal and non-fatal accidents and occupational diseases in transport and mines, construction, electricity and textile industries. Even Supreme Court of Pakistan has specially instructed the provincial governments to get observed the Safety and Health Laws in letter and spirit, they added. They also demanded to the provincial and federal government to amend outdated Labour Laws and raise the compensation up to Rs3 million in case of fatal accident of the workers.

They also demanded to the prime minister to hand over the complete control of companies either to Pepco or Wapda instead of handing over to the members of BoD, who have conflict of interest being themselves as major electricity consumer.