Labour Day: President, PM vow to ensure safe working conditions for workers

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DNA

As the services of labourers are commemorated on the occasion of International Labour Day today, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif have vowed to uphold their dignity, paying tribute to their historic struggle.

In his special message for labourers in Pakistan, President Zardari acknowledged and appreciated their “commendable” contributions towards the country’s development.

“This day serves as a reminder for all of us to safeguard labourers’ rights, and work for their social protection, fair wages, and safe working conditions,” the president said in a message on Tuesday.

The president commended the tireless efforts of workers, who have driven the country’s socio-economic development, adding that the theme for this year’s International Labour Day was to ensure workplace safety and health amidst climate change.

“The labourers and the working class in Pakistan are facing unprecedented challenges, such as inflation, rising cost of living, unemployment, and the adverse impacts of climate change,” a press release quoted President Zardari.

In order to ameliorate the lot of working classes, the president added, it was highly essential to initiate measures for their welfare by providing adequate wages, safe working conditions, health coverage and educational facilities to their children.

“The state also has a crucial role to play in protecting the rights of workers, implementing and enforcing policies to end labour exploitation, protect their rights, and provide social support,” he observed.

President Zardari called upon employers to adopt fair wage practices, take steps for worker safety and health and ensure the provision of necessary training and protective equipment to labourers working in hazardous environments.

The president expressed the hope that the federal and provincial governments would also play their role to protect the rights of labourers, take steps to eliminate exploitative practices and implement social security programs for them.

“Let’s pledge to create a conducive environment for workers in Pakistan where they are valued and respected,” he added.

‘Govt committed to bolster labour welfare’

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also expressed the government’s commitment to bolstering labour welfare and harmonising domestic labour legislation with global standards.

In his message, the premier honoured the immense sacrifices of the workers who laid their lives while waging a relentless struggle for their rights.

The prime minister said enhancement of occupational safety and health across various sectors remains a top priority for the government.

He also spoke about convening the inaugural National Tripartite Labour conference with a special focus on safety and health.

The premier praised the invaluable contributions of labourers who work day and night in the fields, factories and elsewhere to feed their families and remain a driving force behind Pakistan’s progress.

PM Shehbaz vowed to continue the government’s endeavours to improve the working and living conditions of our workers by further promoting their welfare through better housing, education, healthcare and social security benefits.

Governor Tessori wants wages increased 

Also sharing his message on the occasion, Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori saluted the historical struggle of labourer, terming them the “backbone” of the country’s development.

He added that they are more worried today than in the past.

“The workers are facing problems like unemployment and low wage, while famine has also deprived them of two meals a day,” he said.

Governor Tessori maintained that the minimum wage of workers should be increased significantly in the budget to ensure that they receive two meals a day, education and medical treatment of their children.

“Industrialists and traders are requested to come forward for the welfare of the workers. The doors of the Governor’s House are open to give free ration to the poor and needy,” he maintained.

The governor said that the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) will bring prosperity to the workers.