Illusion or Reality?

Published in Dawn on February 20 2018

THE low priority accorded to labour is reflected in the timing of the release of the Sindh Labour Policy 2018: a morsel of hope thrown to the people just before the next round of voting begins in July. So egalitarian is the document that you’d think had the government come up with it a few years earlier, the province might be treading the path towards an economy “where assets and incomes are distributed equally” and society is “free from exploitation” as the document spells out the aims of the policy.

The fact that we, the people, excel in surviving on the government’s promises and our own grit, and keep hoping for a better future, was validated by the sentiments of the employers’ and workers’ representatives who played a key role in developing the labour policy. The workers’ representatives are happy that the policy is ‘rights-based, participatory and inclusive’ and embodies the principles outlined in the country’s Constitution and international conventions.

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Workplace Safety

Published in Dawn on January 12, 2016

‘Let the sky fall, when it crumbles, we will stand tall and face it all together.’ — Skyfall, Adele

Natural disasters aside, white-collar workers can’t even imagine the sky falling down on us, literally, while we are at work. Neither can they imagine what happens in that flicker of a second, and thereafter, to the body and soul of the workers on whom the roof crumbles as they toil for a pittance, or to the families when their dear ones die or are injured. ‘Standing tall and facing it all together’ seemingly is not in our collective ethos. Hence, incidents of factory collapse hardly make a ripple in the power corridor or in society’s consciousness.

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Labour Rights in Pakistan: Expanding Informality and Diminishing Wages

This research report was written for the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) in 2011. 

The report highlights the absence of pro-labour strategies in the country’s economic design. It also highlights the destruction caused by the floods in 2010 and 2011. Consequently, the poor face further deprivation and 2.5 million affectees remain deprived of access to food, water, shelter and healthcare facilities. The flood affectees and working poor of the country do not have decent employment and the state has failed in rehabilitating them. The situation is worsened by an economic policy that relies heavily on exports.

Click the link below to view the full report:

Labour Rights in Pakistan: Expanding Informality and Diminishing Wages

Denial and Discrimination: Labour Rights in Pakistan

This research report was written for the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) in 2007. 

The report assesses the working conditions and employment situation in Pakistan. Apart from the secondary sources of media reports and internet, the report includes the input obtained through surveys, rapid assessments and sector profiles not to mention the national conventions of workers in the textile, brick kilns, transport, construction and light engineering sectors organised by PILER in 2005.

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Denial and Discrimination: Labour Rights in Pakistan

Labour Standards in Football Manufacturing Industry: A Case Study of a Nike Vendor in Sialkot, Pakistan

This research report was written for Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), Karachi and was published in June, 2009.

This report is the result of a PILER Project on the terms and conditions that retrenched football stitchers worked under, as well as their present circumstances. It stresses on providing football stitchers with legal aid and capacity-building support, as well as facilitating the emergence of a tripartite institutional mechanism for labour standards compliance and monitoring in Sialkot.

Click the link below to view the full report:

Labour Standards in Football Manufacturing Industry: A Case Study of a Nike Vendor in Sialkot

Tenants in Sindh

Published in Dawn on February 8 2015

“How many crooked, out-of-the-way, narrow, impassable, and devious paths has humanity chosen…” ­— Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)

While Karachi remains sunk in its turbulence and political convolutions, the rural citizenry of Sindh has its own woeful tales to tell. They are hidden from urbanites, different in contours but similar in theme — extortion, abuse of political power, violations of laws and procedures. What makes these stories different is the undercurrent of rebellion and a quest for the straight path instead of succumbing to the crooked and devious.

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