ANI Photo | Trade bodies hold rallies and seminars, raise demand for fixing minimum wage at PKR 50,000

Labour unions, trade associations, human rights organisations and civil society groups and labour wings of various political and nationalist parties held rallies, seminars and other events in cities and towns of Sindh on Monday observed International Labour Day, Dawn reported.
The participants at the events raised the demand for fixing the minimum wage at Pakistani Rupees (PKR) 50,000 per month, an increase in workers’ salaries keeping in view the inflation, doubling the pension and withdrawing all recent increases in the tariffs of water, electricity and petroleum products.
The leaders stressed that the situation caused by the dwindling economy of Pakistan has affected the salaried class and low as well as middle-income groups. Wapda Hydero Electric Workers Union (CBA) carried out a big rally from Labour Hall in Hyderabad. The participants marched up ot the local press club and spoke with CBA leader Abdul Latif Nizamani, according to Dawn.
He committed to resisting the privatisation of national enterprises while expressing regret that 78,000 posts were lying vacant in Wapda and they were not being filled despite the institution facing an acute shortage of workers. He stressed that Wapda was facing destruction because of political interference, as per the news report.
He said the minimum wage of PKR 25,000 per month was not being paid to workers while the contract system had deprived workers of their rights. He further said the state and capitalists were not willing to give rights to workers, according to the news report.
A joint rally was taken out under the aegis of the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign, All Pakistan Clerks Association, All Pakistan OGDC Mazdoor Ittehad, Nadra Bahali Tehreek, Treet Corporation Employees Union and PTCL Retired Employees Union. The joint rally started at SU’s old campus and ended at the local press club.
Speaking to the participants, Asadullah Durrani, Raza Khan Swati, Hassan Bux Khoso, Faheem Abbasi and others said Pakistan was facing its worst-ever economic crisis. They said oil and gas tariffs had been increased and prices of general commodities were beyond the reach of the common man.
Muttahida Labour Federation organised a rally, which was led by its provincial president Mohammad Asif Khattak and senior vice president Amjad Ali Khan and senior vice president Amjad Ali Khan, as per the Dawn report.

All Sindh Lady Health Workers and Employees Union held a rally in cooperation with the Public Service International (PSI) and Workers Education and Research Organisation (WERO). The speakers, including the union’s president Haleema Leghari, HRCP vice chairman Qazi Khizar, Pushpa Kumari, Shama Gullani and Mir Zulfiqar said keeping in view lady health workers’ great contributions towards public health, they were poorly compensated.
The speakers raised the demand for the restoration of health risk allowance for all health workers and the announcement of service structure along with service rules. The speakers opposed privatisation and outsourcing of healthcare and utility services, as per the Dawn report.
Jamaat-i-Islami and the National Labour Federation organised a seminar to seek the release of Hadayatur Rehman of the ‘Haq Do Tehreek’ of Gwadar. Mills Workers Union, Baldia Aala Staff Union and other labour bodies said minimum wages should be fixed at PKR 50,000 and pension should be increased by 100 per cent. They said the recent rise in the price of medicines should be withdrawn.
Home-Based Women Workers Federation and Home-Based Women Bangles Workers Union took out a rally led by Jamila Abdul Latif. PML-N’s labour wing held a gathering to pay homage to Chicago workers. CBA and various other labour unions held separate rallies to mark International Labour Day.
Labour Day rallies were taken out by various trade organisations in Mehar, KN Shah, Sehwan, Kotri and other towns. In Mirpurkhas, labour and civil society organisations, including Wapda CBA, took out rallies in different towns of the district, as per the news report.
Sindh Mazdoor Ittehad, Peoples Labor Bureau, Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party, National Trade Union Defence Campaign and other labour bodies organised separate rallies. The Peoples Labour Bureau and Mirpurkhas division held a seminar on labour laws and their implementation, as per the Dawn report.
They also demanded an increase in salaries and pensions. Wapda CBA, STP and Awami Tehreek held rallies and demonstrations in different towns of the district in Badin. The participants of the Wapda CBA rally, led by Allah Bux Katiar, Ghaus Pathan and others, marched from their office to Allahwala Chowk.
They chanted slogans for proper wages and facilities for workers. The leaders stressed that abject poverty caused by inflation and unemployment was forcing people to die by suicide, as per the news report.
STP activists and supporters led by Shahnawaz Siyal held a demonstration in front of the local press club and demanded a reasonable increase in wages, saying that free education and healthcare should be extended to all workers of public and private organisations. (ANI)

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