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Pakistan: 2014 Status of Labour Report Released by PILER

by PILER, 30 April 2015

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Press Release

30 April 2015

Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) launched its report Status of Labour Rights in Pakistan: Year 2014 on 30 April 2015 at the Karachi Press Club.

Senior journalist Zubeida Mustafa, Karamat Ali, Executive Director of PILER, Zeenat Hisam, author of the report and Zulfiqar Shah spoke on the occasion.

PILER, a resource centre, engaged with labour issues for the last 33 years, has undertaken to review the changing trends and the factors significantly impacting the workers’ lives and the terms and conditions of work. The workers’ struggles to counteract negative forces are also documented.

The report aims to facilitate the role of civil society as a watchdog of human rights related to work and work places. The present report is the fourth in the series and covers the year 2014. The report is a modest attempt to present an overview of the status of labour in the country

The first section of the report, based on secondary research, gives an overview of the socio-economic and political context, human development indicators, legislative development, labour market indicators and the existing terms and conditions of employment.

The second section presents a collection of 12 research articles, case studies and analyses of trends and issues related to labour and employment. The issues include the GSP Plus status and its potential, impact of economic policies on labour, labour legislation after the 18th Amendment devolution to the provinces, interaction of economic growth and labour legislation, changing land tenure system and the status of agricultural workers, and the status of implementation of the law on sexual harassment at work place.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Zubeida Mustafa said that it is responsibility of the state to provide health, education and other facilities to the public.

She said about 70 percent population is living in rural areas but the development conditions of these areas is deplorable. Majority of their elected representatives do not bother to pay any heed of the problems of these areas.

War on terror has affected the working class besides harm to economy of the country. Globalization and neo-liberal economic policies have created a nexus of elite and capital class, which tries to control all the resources.

The capitalists who apparently invest in poor countries, but in fact, they send all their windfall profits to their own countries.

Karamat Ali, Executive Director of PILER said this report is not about the labour who work in factories, but all workers in all fields. The report has highlighted the conditions of the workers. Important issues like privatization have been discussed in the report.

This government has initiated the efforts to launch aggressive privatization.

He referred a report by Dr. Hafiz Pasha and said many documents of the authentic documents of the government indicates that trade union participation has reduced drastically and only one percent workers are organized on trade union.

He said unemployment rate among youth is much larger and among educated unemployed are 45 percent of the total labour force. There is no basic change in economic policy after 1988 when the Government of Pakistan initiated Structural Adjustment Programme with the support of International Monitory Fund. Since then IMF’s intervention continued in Pakistan. These are export oriented policies in which your local industries are not made stronger.

Social security facilities are not available for all workers. Only 5 percent of the labour are covered under the Social Security Institutions and Employees Oldage Benefit Institution, he said adding that the entire population should be provided social security facilities.

Minimum wages are Rs. 12,000 which is insufficient. Minimum wages for unskilled workers must be increased.


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Status of Labour Rights in Pakistan: Year 2014
by Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) (30 April 2015)

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