Govt must provide protection to labourers: AWP

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 13 (APP): Federal and Provincial government must provide the proper protection to labourers throughout the country.
Secretary General Awami Workers’ Party (AWP) Farooq Tariq said that various incidents over the last two months that had claimed scores of workers’ lives, said a press release.
He said relatives of those killed in the Sundar factory collapse had only been promised Rs 0.5 million compensation.
“The family of an on-duty policeman is given Rs 6 million in the event of his demise,” Tariq said adding that deaths of on-duty labourers should be treated on the same footing.
He said the Burki Road steel mill blaze that had claimed the
lives of five workers was the result of the proprietor’s negligence.
Tariq said the fire had erupted after the owner had orders
workers to weld a hole in an iron tank full of crude oil. “The
proprietor’s greed caused the blaze,” he said.
Rana Hassan of the Minimum Wage Action Committee said scores
of labourers had died in various incidents over the last two months.
He said 10 had died in a building collapse in Gujjumata area
on September 4, 28 in Gujranwala, 53 in the Sundar building collapse
and five in the Burki Road steel mill fire.
“Such incidents are becoming increasingly commonplace and yet
the government has not taken any serious measures,” Hassan said. He
said proprietors had been given a free hand to do as they pleased.
“Not only do labourers work in unsafe environments but they
are also not paid the minimum legal wage,” Hassan said.
He said the government and the Labour Department ought to take
swift action in this regard. “Had the department been empowered by
the government like the Punjab Food Authority (PFA), incidents like
these would not have happened,” Hassan said. He said the committee
would stage a protest demonstration in front of the department on
November 25 alongwith various unions and rights organisations.