2nd Anniversary: Sacrifice of 259 martyred workers would not go waste: speakersSeptember 10, 2014
Karachi:The sacrifices of 259 workers of the Ali Enterprises would not be allowed to go waste, and they are resulting in a new labor movement, said speakers of a big rally of workers at the site of Baldia Factory Fire incident here on Thursday, organized by National Trade Union Federation Pakistan (NTUF) and the Association of the Heirs of Baldia Tragedy Victims.
They said they would not allow turning factories and industries into the death traps of workers. The factories and workplaces even today are not different from the Ali Enterprises in terms of health and safety measures for their workers. However, the labors could afford no more to bear another tragedy like Baldia factory fire and the industrialists have to take heeds and implement labor laws and health and safety measures in their factories.
They said the despite passage of two years of the Baldia factory fire incident, the government and other related stakeholders are still showing apathy and the heirs of the victims still running from the pillar to post to get justice. They said the promises made with the bereaved families are yet to be fully fulfilled. The Baldia factory fire was the biggest industrial accident in the history of Pakistan but the government and other stakeholders learnt no lesson from it. Today, factories and industries in Pakistan still lacking health and safety measures and their profit-hungry owners are playing with the lives of their innocent workers. They have virtually deprived them of their basic right to live.
They said the promise of Prime Minister Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif regarding the assistance of the bereaved families is yet to be fully fulfilled. The assistance as announced by the owner of Bahria Foundation is not received by all the bereaved families. The EOBI has not issued pension carts to many of the heirs and instead they are being harassed with different pretexts. The pension cards so far issued are not life pension cards but for pension of only five years, which is a cruel joke.
They said the government despite getting GSP+ status are not implementing relevant labor laws and protocols regarding working hours, health and safety measures. The international social audit companies are hand to glove and fully responsible for the sad situation. The Italian audit certification company RINA and German bran KIK have been playing a shameful role in this regard.
The speakers demanded that the government should endorse and implement the ILO safety related convention. The heirs should be given the announced compensations and assistance. Labor inspection should be started in factories. Violation of local and international labor laws in the grab of social audit certificates should be stopped. All labor rights as per GSP+ should be immediately implemented. A memorial park should be established at Ali Enterprises. All factories should be registered and workers issued appointment letters by ending contract system. All factories should register their labors with social security and EOBI. Eight hours working day should be implemented in all factories.
Those spoke included Nasir Mansoor, Deputy General Secretary National Trade Union Federation; Mohammad Rafiq Baloch, Vice President Pakistan Workers Confederation (PWC), Mohammad Jabbir, Organizer Baldia Factory Fire Effectees Association; Gul Rehmn, Organizer Workers Right Movement; Riaz Abbassi, SITE Labour Forum, Zehrra Khan, General Secretary Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF).
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