On May Day, the body can be eliminated, not the voice

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Chaudhry Munawar Anjum

May 1, is celebrated around the World as International Workers’ Day. The purpose of this day is to commemorate the struggle of the workers in Chicago, USA.

May 1 is said to be the day of metaphor in human history full of hard work and struggle.

The voice against the capitalist class in Chicago in 1884 was drenched in blood, but the sacrifices of these martyrs filled the energies of the workers.

International Workers’ Day is the day of countless workers burning in the furnaces of capital in factories, fields, mines and other workshops and these workers are the historical foundation of human development and civilization.

Observing May Day was started in 1886 with the demand of eight hours of working by the laborers.

In which trade unions and other socialist institutions demanded eight hours of work every day in factories. Historically, American workers went on a full-scale strike on that day.

On May 3, a workers’ protest rally in Chicago was attacked, killing four workers. Then workers gathered at Square Market Hey for protest on which police subjected the protesters to torture.

In the meanwhile a police officer in a bomb blast was killed and in the reaction police sprayed bullets at protesters.

As a result of which many workers were killed and dozens were injured, on this occasion the capitalists arrested and hanged the labor leaders.

Despite the fact that there was no evidence against them that they were involved in this incident.

The laborers gave their lives for the labor movement and exposed the justice and impunity of the capitalist system. The slain leaders said. “You can kill us physically, but you can’t silence us.

But the point is that the great cause for which the workers have rendered sacrifices has been achieved. The answer is no, but some improvements have been made.

In any case, there has been a change in working hours, increase in wages and social security issues were also improved with the passage of time. But still the struggle continues and will continue.

Despite celebrating May Day every year in Pakistan, this section of the country is still deprived of many basic rights.

Despite the passage of time, there has been no significant change in the conditions of labor and working conditions in Pakistan.

There have been so many incidents here in which many people have lost their lives, accidents are constantly happening in the mines.

Then there are the small and big accidents in the garment and textile factories on a daily basis but so far no major change has been seen.

There are two reasons for this. The first is that there is no monitoring system, the state and every coming new government its priorities do not include workers’ rights. Secondly, our trade unions are very weak.

According to a report, there are about 62 million workers in Pakistan, 70% of whom are working in the textile, cotton and garment sectors.

Major chunk of foreign exchange was coming in the country due to this sector. But unfortunately conditions of labour of this segment is very pathetic in the country.

Laborers are not being given the rights which were given during colonial times. Foreign brands are doing business in this country.

One percent of these workers are not in trade unions. If you look now, the basis of Pakistan’s economy is the textile and garment sectors.

Even textiles and garments account for 70% of Pakistan’s exports. Foreign exchange also falls into this category.

There are big domestic and foreign brands, but the rights that the workers had during the colonial period have not been achieved at the plant or factory level.

Pakistan, like the rest of the world, has labor laws, but they do not seem to be enforced.

That is why a large number of workers here are forced to work in exploitative, forced labor and dangerous conditions.

According to trade union representatives, “95% of employees are not even given an appointment letter when they come to work.

That is, they have no proof that the people they are working for are employed at the place.

That is why when they are fired and they want to go to any Labor Department or Labor Court and claim that they have been fired illegally, they cannot prove it.

In addition, 97% of the factories are such that the workers are not paid even the minimum wage.

The Wages Act also includes the Payment Wages Act 1936. Under the law, there is a regular wage board that sets the minimum wage by gazette notification. One important thing to note is the terms skilled worker and unskilled worker.

The minimum monthly wage of an unskilled laborer is Rs. 17,500 / – for the financial year 2020-2019.

Categories of skilled workers have been created, such as textile industry, electric industry, sugar industry, cement industry, etc.

The minimum wage for all types of skilled workers is determined in the gazette notification. First of all, it is impossible to make a monthly budget of a family within Rs. 17500.

A worker can not feed his family nor he can give them education of health facility within that much salary. The second important point is that the minimum wage is almost non-existent.

Most of the workers are not even registered in the Employees Old Age Benefits Department established for the pension of the workers and the EOBI pension for 2020-2019.