Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Labour Day observed in Pakistan

Labour Day observed in Pakistan for Sacrifices of Chicago Martyrs
By Shoaib Jabbar 'Pakistan Times' Special Correspondent
ISLAMABAD: The ‘International Labour Day’ was observed across Pakistan on Tuesday to commemorate the valuable sacrifices of Chicago martyrs, rendered for the cause of workers.

Special events were organized in almost every city and town by the labour class to observe the day in a benefitting manner and renew the commitment to continue struggle for the welfare of labourers.Ministry of Labour and Manpower, workers organization and trade unions had arranged rallies and workers gatherings to pay homage to their fellow workers.

Speakers at rallies and seminars also pledged to continue hardwork and put in maximum to nation building and making it economically strong.Hit by abject poverty in most the countries across the globe, labourers every year celebrate this day with hopes of the better days ahead.

The dilemma of less payments, extra hours duty, price hike and other miseries of life keep haunting the labourers either in developed or developing countries.Respective governments continue measures for the welfare of their labour class including Pakistan where the government, within its means tries best to ameliorate the lot of working class.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, addressing a workers rally in federal capital, reiterated the resolve of the government for workers welfare, enhance their wages and salaries in 2007-08 budget and announced scholarship for their children who get admission in institutes of higher learning.
He said low-cost housing, medical and other facilities, being provided to labour class, had played key role in country’s development.Ministry of Labour and Manpower took out a rally in federal capital led by Federal Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan and other leaders to pay homage to Chicago Martyrs and commemorate the historic struggle of working class.
Rallies were taken out and seminars and walks were organized at provincial capitals, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and other cities and towns across the country and in Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir.Labour and trade union leaders highlighted the problems of the working class and urged the government to take maximum measures to mitigate their suffering.

They said the working class is the major stakeholder of national economy and the government should introduce concrete measures for their welfare.The speakers also mentioned to different means of exploitation of the working class by the employer and demanded a conducive working environment for them. Special programs, talk shows and documentaries were broadcast and telecast by the radio and television channels and newspapers published special supplements to mark the Day.

In Pakistan, workers wages were enhanced from Rs 1500 to Rs 4000 during last seven years and has launched an ambitious programme to impart necessary skill to workforce.Almost half a decade back, the government had initiated National Action Plan for Elimination of Child Labour and the Bonded Labour from the country.

The Plan envisaged revolutionary steps and its effective execution resulted in elimination of Child Labour from the Soccer industry.

The government also enhanced death and marriage grant for workers, student scholarship for their children, free education up to metric and healthcare and other facilities for them.Around 5000 scholarships are provided to children of workers annually and the government is planning to set up Kidney Centres across the country.

Ministry of Labour has completed 129 low cost housing schemes for workers while 20 housing schemes are under construction.●

Labour Movement in Pakistan Organization and Leadership in Karachi in the 1970s Representing Children: Power, Policy and the Discourse on Child Labour in the football manufacturing industry of Sialkot Problems of Working Women in Karachi, Pakistan

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