“Registration as workers is the legal
right of Home Based Workers”. This was demanded by women present at the
first ever celebration of Home Based Workers Day jointly organized
HomeNet Pakistan and Labour Education at Lahore Press Club.
October is remembered as a historic and an important day for the Home
Based Workers of South Asia including Pakistan. As on 20th
October 2000 South Asian countries passed a declaration for the home
based workers. This year those countries celebrated first ever home
based worker’s day. Home Net Pakistan and Labour Education Foundation
also celebrated this day by lighting candles in front of Lahore Press
Club. Large number of Home Based worker’s were present at the occasion,
they were carrying placards and posters bearing their demands. The
demands were: Ratify ILO convention for Home work C-177, devise a
national policy for home based workers, implement 7000 minimum wage,
provide social security, old age benefits, pensions, right to health
during work, provide facilities to women worker during pregnancy, grant
unionization and CBA rights, provide equal wages and home based workers
to be recognized in government statistics and economy.
Nobody in Pakistan postal services is in
the position to solve the problems of union.
Saeed Hameed Ahmed has been striving for the worker rights of Pakistan
postal services since 1957. He formed an “All Pakistan Postal Employees
Union” and provided a collective platform to the workers to battle for
the rights. The union was registered in 1957 under article 10/79. The
problems faced by the workers in this sector are numerous. Postal
services have a total of 47000 workers and out of them 70% are permanent
while 30% are temporary. 1979 was the last year when the Pakistan Postal
Services had Union elections and since then no election or referendum
could be done. This indicates the atrocities being faced by the workers.
He appreciates the effort being done by Labour Education Foundation and
National Trade Union Federation to raise awareness of workers and to
discuss their issues regarding privatization and related problems.
Ship breaking industry earning Billions
annually is being ignored by the Government institutions.
27th September a seminar was held in Karachi on the topic of
working conditions and rights of workers of the Gaddani Ship Breaking
Industry. A large number of workers and trade union representatives
related to this industry participated in the seminar. Gaddani’s 15km
beach holds the country’s only ship breaking industry which started its
working in 1967. Spread over 127 plots, annually 140 ships from around
the world are brought here for breaking. The steel extracted makes a
sizeable contribution in meeting country’s steel demand. Other metals
include aluminium and bronze. More than 15000 workers are forced to work
in poor conditions. The profit earned from this industry is in billions
but the workers associated with this profession are ignored and never
given due recognition. Labour laws are not implemented in this industry.
Though they have been associated with the profession since 20 years but
they are not given appointment letters. Due to this they are unable to
get social security benefits. Workers work for 12 to 14 hours on minimum
wages. Though the work is quite injurious to health but no personal
protective equipments are provided to them. More than 100 workers
including numerous have been injured during the course of work. They are
denied of any access to clean water, health facilities and electricity.
We will protest until our demands are
met. All primary teachers Association Khyber Pakhtoonkhawa is on protest
since October 1st and from 22nd October classes
are being boycotted too. The association is planning to stage protests
rallies and demonstrations for the rights of teachers throughout the
province during the month of November.
Primary Teachers Association Khyber Pakhtoonkhawa started their struggle
for rights on 9th May 2011 with a convention in which around
6000 teachers participated. They are demanding for implementation of
service structure and time scales, primary teachers to be given 20%
quota in SST, CT fund to be replaced by GP fund, restoration of advance
increment on over time, increasing education budget, primary teachers to
be given 50 % quota in University and board examinations, EEF and
benevolent fund to be spent on building schools, colleges and on
residential schemes for teachers, introduce teacher’s welfare
foundation, ending one time 2007 up gradation, rejection of collector
system and education privatization. Teacher’s are still on protest and
the government does not seem to be serious in resolving the issue. There
has been no progress since one month when the association announced
boycott of classes.
Daily waged workers of Nestle Pakistan’s
Sheikhupura factory are facing numerous problems. Their wages are not
increased, denied of benefits such as weekly and annual holidays.
Labourers are living awful lives throughout the country. At one level
they are not being paid in relation to inflation and at the other end
they forced to work as daily wagers in factories. Working as daily
wagers they are denied of not only weekly holiday but of monthly
holidays too. There is no process to raise their wages. All these
problems are also being faced by the workers of Nestle Pakistan
Sheikhupura Factory. The factory has 5- 6 thousand workers. 30-40 women
are working in the administration and most of them are daily wagers.
They have been working for approximately 14 years and their daily pay is
317 rupees. They don’t have access to social security and EOBI. Only
relatives and influentially strong are permanently hired. Since 4 months
at least 60 workers are jobless. They are living in rented houses and
are in dismal living conditions. In these pathetic and pitiable
conditions they are demanding that their worker’s be freed and their
jobs to be restored, previous four months salaries to be paid, permanent
worker status should be granted, annual and weekly holidays to be given.