Human RightsNews

Baldia Factory Fire Tragedy: A Decade Passes, Yet No Justice

Trade Union Organizations hold rally outside Ali Enterprises to observe 10th anniversary of the tragedy that had claimed lives of 260 workers.

Factories and workplaces are virtually killing fields for the hapless workers – Trade Union Leaders


On the tenth anniversary of martyrdom of 260 workers in Baldia factory fire incident, labor and trade union leaders demanded to implement International Accord in Pakistan to improve safety and health condition in factories and workplaces.

National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), Ali Enterprises Factory Fire Affectees Association and Home-based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) arranged a rally outside the Ali Enterprises Garment Factory that was attended by the heirs of martyrs, labors, political workers and representatives of human rights organizations. They displayed the pictures of the martyred workers and lit lamps in their memory.

Addressing on the occasion, NTUF general secretary Nasir Mansoor said that ten years have passed to the Baldia factory fire incident but still factories and workplaces in Pakistan are lacking health and safety measures. He said even today factories and workplaces are virtually killing fields for the hapless workers. He said that millions of workers belonging to textiles and garments sector are deprived of the basic labor rights like minimum wages, right to form trade unions, social security and pension. He said local supplying factories of international brands are also involved in this crime. He said workers have become wage slaves and added that this situation in the backdrop of GSP Plus would bring negative consequences for Pakistani economy.

Baldia-Factory-Sindh-Courier-2Sadia Khatoon, chairperson of Association of the Affectees of Baldia Factory Fire said that due to the greed of capitalists our innocent children lost their lives. She said greed is in the blood of capitalists be they are local or international. She said the number of workers dying in workplace mishaps is rising. She said that the heirs of Baldia factory fire victims are yet to be doled out justice. She said the German brand Kik till today has not apologized to the heirs of the victims.

HBWWF general secretary Zehra Khan said that Sindh Labor Department is doing nothing for implementing labor laws. She said till now rules of health and safety law have to be framed. She said women workers face sexual torture and harassment at workplaces and their voice is being gagged. She said officials of police and security agencies provide security only to factory owners. She said retired officers of security agencies are recruited by factory owners for harassment of their workers. She said contract labor system after private institutions is also being extended to governmental and workers’ welfare institutions.

Baldia-Factory-Sindh-Courier-3She said due to flood more than fifty percent of cotton crop has been damaged that would soon create a crisis in textile industry rendering a large number of textile and garment workers jobless, also affecting the foreign exchange reserves of the country.

The moot demanded to fully implement International Accord in Pakistan to ensure health and safety of workers. She said all international fashion brands should ratify this Accord on the pattern of Bangladesh Accord.

They demanded to fully implement health and safety law. They asked to decide the cases of the heirs of Baldia factory fire victims. The stopped pension to the parents of the victims should be released.

Baldia-Factory-Sindh-Courier-4They asked to ensure provision of harassment free environment to female workers. Anti-harassment committees comprising women workers should be set up at plant level. Labor laws should be fully implemented. International Accord should be extended to Pakistan. All labor rights under GSP Plus should be fully implemented.

Other speakers were Karamat Ali, Rafiq Baloch, Comrade Gul Rehman, Riaz Abbasi, Aqib Hussain, Saira Feroz Khoro and Qazi Khizar. (PR)



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