Voicing concern: Jawad Ahmad to launch movement for labourers

Says no political party in Pakistan is ready to take up the cause of labour

Our Correspondent March 01, 2015
Jawad Ahmed says no political party in Pakistan is ready to take up the cause of labour. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD AZEEM/EXPRESS

KARACHI: The labour community in Pakistan need to start a political movement against the injustices meted out by industrialists since no political party in the country is ready to speak up for them. This was proclaimed by renowned singer and central committee member of the International Youth and Workers Movement (IYWM), Jawad Ahmad.

Ahmad announced that his organisation, IYWM, will start a political movement for labourers across the country. The campaign that has already begun in Punjab will gather the youth, students, farmers and labourers and attempt to unite them for the cause. “We think the labour community should start a political movement. For this, I request trade union leaders and the labour fraternity to join hands and be part of it.”

At a press conference with the representatives of the Pakistan National Trade Unions Federation on Sunday, Ahmed shared his song, ‘sun lo keh hum mazdoor hain’, which he composed after the incident of the Baldia factory fire in September 2012. In the past few months, Ahmed has taken his message of unity and solidarity to other cities of the country as the incidences of labor victimisation have become increasingly common.

With regards to the recent political turn that the Baldia factory fire case has taken, Ahmed said that to this day, no one was talking about the real issues at hand inside the factory sites. “Not a single party in Pakistan is working to address labourers’ issues. Ninety-five per cent of the population is involved in the labour force and that includes our middle class too,” he said, adding that no one guarantees social security or any form of protection against the hazards posed by the industrialists in the first place.

Ahmed said that though the case of Baldia factory fire should be fully investigated, the primary responsibility of the incident should be fixed on the industrialist. “The case has become entirely political with blame games about who lit the fire in the factory premises when the real issue is about the absence of fire exits, lack of fire extinguishers and no employment slips by the factory owners,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2015.



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