President Asif Ali Zardari said that the Pakistan Peoples Party government will ensure that the working class gets its due rights and are freed from all types of exploitation. In a message on May day, the President said the government will continue to get inspiration and guidance in ameliorating the workers by pursuing the principles laid down in the manifesto by the Shaheed leaders.
The President pointed that a disenchanted labour was one of the causes of low productivity and industrial unrest. All the political forces should join hands in national interest in improving the lot of the working classes and protecting them from exploitation. He assured that the government will not abandon the labour, the peasants, the fisher folk and the wage earners in their struggle for emancipation and freeing themselves from the shackles of exploitation.
The President said both Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto believed that the PPP derived its strength from the working classes of Pakistan and they always fought for their rights and well being.
The President said the government has taken several steps for the workers that include restoration in service of sacked workers through legislation, replacement of the anti labour legislation the IRO 2002 with a pro?labour law, restoration of trade union activities. He said the government also plans to build 80,000 housing units for the labour, enhancing the minimum wage to 6,000 rupees per month, increasing workers’ share in profit and increasing and universalizing marriage grants to all workers.
President Zardari said never before perhaps so much was done for the labour in such a short span of time as has been done by the present government. President Zardari said;
“These measures are a manifestation of conscious efforts by the present government to restore to the labour and the working classes their dignity and their rights. These will always be remembered, I also pay tributes to the Chicago martyrs for their struggle against oppressive socio-economic system a century ago,”
While Prime Minister is his message Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani urged In a message on the occasion of May Day, the Prime Minister said,
“We are celebrating May Day in a new economically challenging global environment this year with the ambition to reaffirm our commitment to uphold and enhance the dignity of labour. Celebration of this day is a tribute to the working class all over the world that reminds us of the historic struggle of the Chicago workers who laid their lives for achieving a just working environment and for securing their rights,”
Gilani said the role of labour in the economic development of the country cannot be but over emphasized.
“It has always been the labour community which contributed significantly towards maximizing production and productivity. We cannot compete in the international market without provision of a respectable status and dignity to our labour as per ILO standards,” he added.
The Prime Minister said, “We are taking various steps to review the existing labour laws in order to bring them in conformity with the international standards to keep pace with the global trends and ensure dignity of labour. The government is taking all possible measures to protect the welfare and rights of workers. The government has repealed the Industrial Relations Order (IR)?2002) and revived banned trade unions, he added.
The Prime Minister said formulation of a labour policy in the light of the former Prime Ministers, late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed’s vision is also under consideration and will soon be announced.
“Workers and employers are partners in the production process and their coordination and cooperation is paramount for industrial peace and harmony to ensure maximum utilization of their inputs for the socio?economic development of our country. May Allah Almighty be with us in our endeavours. Ameen.”
Acting President Farooq H. Naek said Pakistan is fully alive to the welfare of workers and accelerate steps aimed at creation of better working conditions at farms and factories. The Acting President said this in a message issued in connection with Labour Day.
“Pakistan joins the world community today in observing the May Day which reinvigorates the spirit of respect for the rights of workers and reaffirms our commitment to uphold these in letter and spirit,”
Naek said Islam places great emphasis on dignity of labour and enjoins its followers to give workers their rightful place in society.
“It is my belief that unless we have cadres of well?trained, satisfied and contended workforce, the country cannot take rapid strides on road to development,” he said. The Acting President said it is with this end in view that the Government is striving to improve the lot of workers all over the country. “It is indeed satisfying to note that various schemes are being implemented in this regard,” he said.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira has said the present Government is the people’s government and Pakistan People’s Party has always supported the cause of labour right from its inception. In his message on the International Labour Day falling on May 1,the minister felicitated the labour community saying that this historic day reminds us the valiant and heroic struggle of the Chicago workers who had laid their lives for the collective rights.He also said that
“we also honour the labour struggles of the past as well as those who in recent times have risked their lives and stood up to powerful forces unwilling to listen to the organized voice of work.”
The minister said that these sacrifices were so great and momentous that they have left an indelible mark on the history of mankind and these still continue to be a source of inspiration for the downtrodden and oppressed workers.
“This is the day to revisit the struggles of the working class and commemorate its achievements,this day is celebrated in commemoration of the martyrs of 1886 in Chicago which paved the way for social and economic achievements of the working class and labour movement. The minister said that the day provided an impetus to the struggle for rights of workers and thus ensured that the iniquitous system of their exploitation will no more exist.
input from Agencies