Bilateral Social Dialogues support in promoting harmonious industrial relations: Zaki Khan



KARACHI: The bilateral dialogues between Employers and Workers representatives are important for achieving the objectives of Decent Work and industrial productivity said by Zaki Ahmed Khan, Chairman, Workers Employers Bilateral Council of Pakistan (WEBCOP) while chairing the combine meeting of WEBCOP National, Provincial Chapters and Advisory Committee organized by the WEBCOP with the technical support of International Labour Organization (ILO).

The meeting was attended by representatives of all the national trade union federations and employers’ representatives including Ismail Suttar, Asif Zuberi, Majyd Aziz, Tahir Javaid Malik, Dr. Muhammad Sarwar Yousuf, Mubushar Javed, F.K. Siddiqui (Employers’ Representatives), Zahoor Awan, Chaudary Muhammad Yaseen, Muhammad Yaqoob, Shafiq Ghouri, Chaudary Nasim, Karamat Ali, Nasir Mansoor, Waqar A. Memon, Muhammad Iqbal, Razam Khan, Pir Muhammad Kakar, Malik Ikram, Tikka Khan, Zehra Khan, Mukhtar Awan (Workers’ Representatives).

Zaki Ahmed Khan said bilateral dialogue helps to understand each other’s viewpoint on labour issues and support in promoting harmonious industrial relations, fair and decent working conditions and opportunity of resolving issues through mutual understanding and cooperation. He said the need for the bilateral dialogue between the two industrial partners has increased more than before due to serious challenges posed to the economy of the country in general and the industry in particular.

“The increasing cost of living is not only making the life of workers more and more difficult but also forcing them below the poverty line. Under the situation, the survival of industry is a big challenge and requires collective efforts of both workers and employers and they need to understand there is no other alternative except to work together and demonstrate unity”, he added.

Saghir Bukhari, Senior Program Officer, ILO office Islamabad said the bilateral dialogue between employers and worker’s representatives at all levels is crucial and leads to industrial harmony and peace that boost productivity and industrial development.

Ravi Peiris, Senior Specialist, DWT Delhi in his concluding remarks emphasized the importance of social dialogue in addressing social and economic issues and inclusive development. He appreciated the leadership of workers and employers in Pakistan to form WEBCOP for resolving labour issues through mutual understanding and cooperation. He added bilateral social dialogue and bilateralism can add value and strengthen tripartite social dialogue and are essential for sound industrial relations. He assured his technical support in strengthening bilateral and tripartite social dialogue in Pakistan.

The worker’s representatives and employers present in the meeting resolved and committed to promote bilateralism through establishing effective bilateral dialogue and making collective efforts to address the challenges faced to the industries and improving the livelihood as well as working conditions of the workers.

A road map to identify areas of action through mutual understanding and cooperation was also developed that includes reforms in labour laws, social protection institutions for workers and compliance of labour laws.