Consumers in Europe concerned about factory fire tragedy

Karachi: Pakistan Institute of Labor Education and Research PILER has announced a sitin demonstration with PFUJ in front of Parliament at Islamabad on 30th of January.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi Press Club on Thursday, PILER Chairman Karamat Ali said order of Prime Minster Pakistan for withdrawal of charges against the owners of Ali Enterprises was unfair and PILER and Labor Unions will go for appeal in court against his order.

He said Commission report on Baldia factory fire incident should be published so everyone knows what the reasons behind the incident were. He said police investigation report showed that the factory was not following safety arrangements and it was not registered with Labor Department.

Katia Roux, member of delegation from Clean Clothes Campaign CCC in European Union, said the main objective of the CCC delegation’s visit to Pakistan is to meet and express solidarity with the victims of the Ali Enterprises fire, and support efforts of Labor rights groups working for justice for the victims and also obtain first hand information about the situation after Ali Enterprises accident.

She said it is the constitutional responsibility of the state to protect and safeguard the rights, especially the right to life of all citizens on equal basis. In this case the government should have actively followed the case in the courts and provided protection to victims and witnesses to ensure justice for the workers of the burnt factory, she opined.

She said it is shock that rather than fulfilling its constitutional obligation to protect its citizens and stand up for them the Government chose to play in the hands of powerful industrial lobby and finally withdrawn charges against the owners of factory. She expressed grave concerns on the recent order by the Prime Minister for withdrawal of charges against the owners of Ali Enterprises.

Katia Roux said the CCC team, during its meetings with victim families, noted with grave concern that a number of families are still waiting to receive bodies of the deceased since the victims are burnt beyond the point of identification, these families yet to receive compensation from the government and many are living in a very difficult state after the loss of the incomeearning members in the fire.

She said it is equally important for Pakistan’s business community, particularly those engaged in export of garments to be aware of global concerns on violations of fundamental rights in Pakistan and they have to adhere to basic labor standards and improve working conditions. The factory fire incident was the worst of its kind and it had moved every individual in Europe and elsewhere in the world, she said.