History is witness to the fact that Pakistan’s state institutions have always tried to test the law on the labour force of the country, according to deputy general secretary of National Trade Union Federation Pakistan (NTUFP), Nasir Mansoor. He was speaking at a seminar on using Anti Terrorism Act (ATA) for registering cases against the labourers.
In his speech Mansoor criticised the use of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) to register cases against union leaders and the workers who go on strike or protest for rights. Chairman of All Pakistan Trade Union Organization, Habibuddin Junaidi said that workers protests come under the umbrella of industrial relation law and the ATA has nothing to do with workers. Mohammad Ameen, the president of Al-Ittehad Power Loom Mazdoor Union, shared his experience of being booked under the ATA by the Mochko police when their union sent their charter of demand to the factory administration. Ameen said that six of his colleagues were arrested by the Rangers and the police from their homes at midnight. “The police tortured them brutally and forced them to confess that they were asking for extortion from the factory employees.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2012.