Labour Day – A Struggle to Fight Rights
By Sidra Ambreen Younas
Labours are the backbone of our Nation. When we talk about the “Labour” word the first thing comes into our mind is very tough and painful work that is related to physical and mental efforts. Second thing comes into our mind that labour society is very poor class with not enough income for living expenditure.
Once again we are celebrating Labour Day of May 2018 in Pakistan which marked the lives of labour for betterment as it shows their hard work. They can struggle for better future socio-economic outcome. In more than 80 countries the Labour Day is celebrated on 1st May every year. The history of this day began on 4 May, 1886 when a person blast dynamite on Chicago police due to their brutality on workers during a strike in Haymarket riot. That time at least eight policemen were killed and eight radical labours were convicted without any evidence. The news got viral all over the world and labour got united to protest the martyrs of that rally who were striking to get their labour rights. As a result the world’s labour community started striking for their rights on the same day. After four years of that incident, in 1891 the second National Congress called a meeting where the 1st May was selected to celebrate as the Labour Day.
In Pakistan, Government of Pakistan under the direction of International Labour Organization assigned the Pakistan Labour Act in 1972, where it was officially announced that the Labour Day will be celebrated on 1st May ever year.
This day is celebrated to realize the world with the financial economical rights of labour. But the current situation is totally different. There is more of talking and less of action. So 1st May comes and yes of course we enjoy it, read a newspapers and blogs about Labour Day, watch special TV programs and just get along with our daily routine and as soon as the day ends we forget all about it.
In Pakistan, the condition of the labour are worst, every day increasing prices of products, soaring inflation, excessive load shedding of electricity and gas, low income, and government’s poor policies, no political stability, and law and order condition worst day by day. But these reasons no new, investors come to invest in the country, but no new industry is born in Pakistan. Labour lives are badly affected due to low wages, long working hours, lack of health facilities, safety measures, social protection and the owners’ hostility towards labour’s rights are some of the vital issues of the poor labours.
In order for the betterment of labour and those who are really working for the progress for industry and are running blood in the veins of our technical division, we have to think outside the box, we have to find out that what are the financial problems they face. It’s not only responsibility of the government; the private sector also has to take special steps to overcome these problems. Wages have to be settled at the time of employment and paid ‘before the sweat of the workman dries up” (promptly).
Published in Young Nation Magazine on May 05, 2018