KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari sai on Tuesday that the Labor Day on the first of May every year should serve to remind us of our commitment to the workers’ right to dignity, decent wages and protection from arbitrary termination.
In his message on the International Labour Day, President Zardari said on this day while we pay homage to Chicago martyrs for their fight against oppression, a century ago we also renew our pledges made to the workers, peasants and wage earners that we will not abandon them in their struggle for a rightful place in society.
“A contended and satisfied labor force is central to the production cycle and national development. Indeed it is the driving force behind any industrial and agricultural progress. All claims of development will remain meaningless until the vulnerable working class is emancipated, empowered and rehabilitated,” Zardari said.
That is why the emancipation and welfare of labour has been central to the struggle of our leaders Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. It is heartening that during the past few years a number of practical steps have been taken for improving the condition of the workers.
Zardari said: “These included reinstatement of sacked employees, regularization of contract and daily wage earners, empowering the workers to seek legal remedies against any unlawful dismissals, restoration of trade union activities, promulgation of Industrial Relations Act, 2012 and making workers and employees shareholders in the state run entities.”
However, the struggle for workers’ rights is far from over. We still have to go a long way in addressing issues relating to exploitation of the workers, child and forced labour and no representation in legislative assemblies etc, he added.
He said as a result of the 18th Constitutional Amendment, the subject of labor has been devolved to the provinces. I am confident that the provinces are aware of their responsibilities for putting in place appropriate legislative and administrative mechanisms to ensure protection of workers’ rights.
“On this occasion while I greet the labour and workers I also call upon them to continue working hard for the progress, prosperity and socioeconomic development of our country,” President concluded.