Labour unions to launch movement against Sindh Labour Code

Our Correspondent
Saturday, Jun 15, 2024

Labour unions and workers’ federations have announced launch of a movement for labour rights after Eidul Azha against the Sindh Labour Code and new minimum wage announced by the Sindh government in the provincial budget 2024-25.

In the proposed budget, the minimum wage has been fixed at Rs37,000 with an increase of Rs5,000 from the previous minimum wage of Rs32,000. Commenting on the budget, National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) General Secretary Nasir Mansoor said that in the recent years, inflation had risen from 28 to 40 per cent, specifically food inflation had increased by 50 per cent. He said new taxes would exacerbate the economic hardships of the public.

He asserted that the government should approach wage setting from living wage perspective to enable the working class to afford a decent life. Mansoor said labour groups had decided to launch a campaign against the anti-labour policies of the government at the behest of the International Monetary Fund.

Representatives from labour federations and likeminded organisations held a meeting at the Karachi Press Club where they decided to establish a joint forum titled ‘Movement for Labour Rights’ to fight against the draft Sindh Labour Code made by International Labour Organisation (ILO) experts and the provincial government.

According to a statement issued by the meeting organisers, the movement would start after Eidul Azha in Karachi and later it would be spread across the country as more organisations would be invited to join hands to lead a collective struggle for the rights of the working class.

The statement read that the ILO-proposed labour code was against the basic rights of the workers and its implementation would harm the workers by snatching away rights from them that were achieved over a long period of struggle.

Labour representatives had rejected the Sindh Labour Code and they demanded adoption of a transparent tripartite mechanism to review the code and exclude anti-labour clauses from it, read the statement.

A 13-member committee, including representatives from labour and journalist unions, was formed with the task of making recommendations on the Sindh Labour Code and submit them to the provincial government.

Those who participated in the meeting included Mansoor, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists’ Khurshid Abbasi, National Labor Federation Karachi President Khalid Khan, Peoples Labour Bureau General Secretary Hussain Badshah, United Labour Federation’s Mukhtar Hussain Awan and Abdul Rauf Khan, Home-Based Women Workers Federation General Secretary Zahra Khan, Pakistan Hotels Workers Federation’s Malik Ghulam, Mehran Labour Federation General Secretary Rahab Ali Samejo, Pakistan Workers Federation Vice President Niaz Muhammad Khan, Workers Education and Research Organisation Executive Director Mir Zulfikar Ali, International Union of Food’s Qamarul Hassan, NOW Communities’ Farhat Parveen, All Pakistan Pharmaceutical Federation Chairman Muhammad Bachal and PC Hotel National Labour Union Vice President Obaidur Rahman.