Baldia factory affectees demand compensation

KARACHI: The relatives of victims of the Baldia Factory Incident demanded compensation which was promised to them, right after tragic fire incident occurred, back in 2012, on the second imminent anniversary in a press conference, here at Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Tuesday.

The leader of National Trade Union Federation, Nasir Mansoor, on the occasion, said that the government had announced to issue lifetime EOBI pension cards to the heirs of all slain factory workers at occurring of incident but even after two years a large number of people were deprived of it.

He said that a delegation of Association of the Affectees of Baldia Tragedy met Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) Director but the meeting came to an end with no consequences. Contrary to claims of lifetime pension cards, he said that 40 victims’ families out of 259 were issued cards which were valid for 2 to 3 years.

He criticized Italian audit company ‘RINA’ for issuing Social Audit Certificate, which certifies the social and ethical responsibilities of a company being fulfilled under the principles of International Labour Organizations, to the relevant company twenty days prior the incident. “We have concerns over the issuance of social audit certificates to another 90 local companies by RINA,” he said.

Moreover, he said that the families were not compensated by Punjab Government, despite promises of compensation of Rs. 3 lakh per head were made by Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at time of incident. Correspondingly, Malik Riaz of Bahria Town had promised to give a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh per head but still many victim families were not compensated.

He accused National and International companies of exploiting labour rights and said that German company ‘KIK’ violated the written accord by discontinuing compensation. “Pakistan is the lone country where industrialists make unions to oppress labours. The labour laws are not being implemented in factories and workplaces and labours have been facing injustices. International brands, social audit companies and local manufacturers have been fetching the huge profit without fulfilling their legal responsibilities,” he added.

On the occasion, trade union leader informed that an international delegation would visit Pakistan regarding filing a case in a court of Germany. During visit, a strategy would be made to file cases against RINA and KIK in Pakistan, Italy and Germany.

Moreover, the relatives and NTUF urged international laws should be implemented and steps for health and safety of labours at workplaces should be taken.

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