Labour day: ‘Government should include home-based workers in its policy’

The government had promised minimum wage for informal sector.

Our Correspondent April 30, 2014
Rs850 per 1,000 bricks for brick kiln workers had been announced by government but not enforced. PHOTO: EXPRESS


“The government will announce their labour policy tomorrow. We demand that they consider home-based workers and allow them to form trade unions” Women Workers’ Union general secretary Shaheena Kausar said at a press conference arranged by HomeNet Pakistan on Wednesday.

Pakistan Workers Confederation (PWC) chairman Chaudhry Yaqoob said that he was present to pay tribute to workers across the country. He said there would be rallies across the city on Thursday (today) to pay tribute to labourers.

Yaqoob said the government had promised last year to raise a minimum wage to Rs15,000 per month for the informal sector. He said Rs850 per 1,000 bricks for brick kiln workers had been announced but not enforced.

Mehnaz Rafi said “the government has spent millions of rupees on the South Asia Labour Conference but done nothing for poor labourers and workers. It is the time for the government to do something practical for workers.”

Carpet Workers’ Union secretary Niaz Khan said “we demand the government give us social security and announce a policy on May 1 that includes us”.

Maria Kokab, programme officer at HomeNet Pakistan, demanded that the government prioritise the adoption of the national policy on Home Based Workers and ensure its enforcement. She said this would guarantee women access to social security benefits. She said the government should ensure that the policy is adopted by all provinces.

Kokab said a large number of women, were engaged in home based work. She said they were not covered by any labour welfare legislation.

She demanded a mechanism for the registration of informal sector workers.

Labour Day rallies

Labour Day rallies will be organised on Thursday (today) by various trade unions, workers’ organisations and non-governmental organisations. The Laal Rickshaw Union and CocaCola Union will start their procession from Thokar at 8:30 am. All-Pakistan Trade Unions’ Federation will start their procession at 9 am from Begum Road to State Bank and join the PWC rally on the Mall. This rally will be led by Rubina Jamil and Nasir Gulzar. The rally will proceed to the railway sheds to join the Railway Workers’ Union. They will then march to Nasser Bagh. At 2 pm they will join the rally of the National Students Federation and Peoples Democratic Forum. Carpet Workers’ Union will walk from Shimla Pahari to Punjab assembly chambers.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st, 2014.


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