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Progressive Labour Federation, Haqooq e Khalq Movement, Progressive Students Collective and Labour Education Foundation organised a webinar today to celebrate the International Workers Day
01-May-2020

Governments and employers are unable to protect workers in covid-19 times
capitalist system is more concern about profits not the lives of the workers even in this pandemic.
Workers need safety for their health and jobs at the same time
All kind of workers should be registered and should be given same rights

Progressive Labour Federation, Haqooq e Khalq Movement, Progressive Students Collective and Labour Education Foundation organised a webinar today to celebrate the International Workers Day. More than 150 workers and trade union representatives from across Pakistan and from different other countries participated in the webinar. This was one of the unique events celebrated on International Workers Day in Pakistan as the workers were not able to organise big release on the roads as usual.

Speakers in seminar included; Khurshid Ahmed from All Pakistan Workers Confederation, Hina Jilani of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Farooq Tariq secretary Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee, Dr Ammar Jaan from Haqooq e Khalq Movement, Rana Muhammad Hassan and Niaz Khan from Progressive Labour Federation, Muhammad Shabbir general secretary Pakistan Bhatta Mazdoor Union, Abrar Ullah from Mehnatkash Labour Federation KP, Tajmeena presiden Home Based Workers Union KP, Zanaya Chaudhry representative from Transgender community, Dr Alia Haider from Young Doctors Association, Aslam Meraj general secretary of Labour Qaumi Movement Faisalabad and Muhsin Abdali from Progressive Students Collective.

Workers from formal, informal sectors and public sector expressed their views over the situation they are facing during the lockdown when majority of the work places are closed. Workers from textile and garment sector, brick kiln sector, home based workers, domestic workers, small traders, communication sector workers and public sector workers expressed their concerns over the inability of the government to implement labour laws and the special notifications produced for the protection of wages and employment of the workers during lockdown period. They said that employers are not respecting the notifications issued by different provincial governments for protection of jobs of the workers. Thousands of workers are being laid off or sacked from the jobs during the lockdown. Representatives of textile and garment sector from Lahore Faisalabad and Mardan districts inform that many thousand workers in the factories from these districts are sacked from the jobs.

Homebase workers representatives from Lahore and Mardan said that due to the closure of the markets workers are not able to get their work orders and they are not even paid for the work done before the lockdown. Condition of home based workers is worsening as they do not have any other income source and their families are facing hunger.

Speakers raised questions on inability of the capitalist system which could not provide basic health facilities to the people for testing and safeguarding from dekh covid-19. Speakers also stressed the need for spending more from the budget on people's health and education instead of other non productive costs.

Workers expressed their dissatisfaction over the support scheme announced by the government to pay 12000 rupees per month to workers. They informed that majority of the workers have still not got this amount.

Trade union leaders also talked about the situation of labour laws implementation even before the covid-19 lockdowns. They said that due to the weak implementation of labour laws, majority of the workers were not registered in social protection schemes, especially those who work on daily wages or piece rate basis.

Speakers said that it is important to understand that what will be the world after covid-19. The capitalist system was not able to fulfill needs of the majority of the people around the world before covid-19 and it will not be possible for the capitalist system to cater the needs of the people after covid-19. They expressed concerns for the future that efforts will be made to laydown more control mecanisms by the capitalist governments. But their will be a possibility for workers as well to presnet their own politics to masses in which peoples lives will be more impotant than the profits.

Representatives of the young doctors association also spoke in the webinar. They informed that government has failed to provide PPEs to all healthcare workers they are facing threats of infection due to unsafe working conditions. government in Punjab privince is not willing to negotiate and discuss with the representatives of the Young Doctors Association despite several process and the hunger strike which is going on since last two weeks. Trade union leaders from other sectors Express their solidarity with the healthcare staff who are fighting the covid-19 at forefront and are protecting the lives of millions of people across Pakistan.

Representatives of Pakistani community living in countries like USA, UK, Sweden, New Zealand and some other countries also participated in the webinar and showed solidairy with workers of Pakistan.

 

 

 

 

 


Labour Education Foundation