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Intro: Pakistan Industrial Relations Act (PIRA)

By: Salman Ali (23/07/2012)

In 2010 Punjab government passed the new labour law PIRA which LEF believes that they want the laborers to work hard for their rights. It’s simply against their will.  As many trade unions met and they decided that we will not obey to this new law. As we study Section 3 (1) of the Punjab Industrial Relations Act 2010, which abolishes the workers’ right to form a union in an establishment where less than 50 workers are employed, violates ILO Convention 87 and Article 17 (1) of the constitution. This section must be repealed.

 Workers of around 4,200 brick kilns in Punjab are likely under this section to be excluded from the ambit of the law and from forming lawful unions. The new Punjab labour law reduces the number of ‘outsiders’ allowed in a union’s executive from 25 per cent to 20 per cent. This will harm the workers’ right to derive strength from the society wherever union lacks expertise. The trade unions regret the failure of the Punjab lawmakers to define the role and obligations of ‘contractor’. Unions also protest against the fact that the law approved by the Punjab Assembly is less friendly to labour than the Ordinance it was asked to debate and turn it into an Act.

LEF ( Labour Education Foundation) have a positive stance that a tripartite mechanism between workers, employers and the government used for resolution of labour laws has not found a place in the Punjab law. It is a matter of concern that a proposal to that effect by workers and employers prior to the enactment of this law has been ignored. Workers’ councils that had representation both from workers and from employers have also been abolished. Both mechanisms must be restored to give the workers and employers sufficient say in resolving work-related disputes. LEF demands that all matters concerning labour must be decided after due consultation with all stakeholders as laid down in ILO Convention 144.   LEF have a strong belief that right to work, to a fair wage and social security are essential for paying due respect to the right to life and called upon all authorities to conform to the ILO conventions and fulfill the state’s obligations to the workers under the recently ratified ICESCR.






    Labour Report 2010      
      Hearing The Unheard




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