Home News Millions of workers face poverty and hunger

Millions of workers face poverty and hunger

Millions of workers face poverty and hunger

Rulers urged to focus food inflation, worsening joblessness in budget

Karachi, Sindh

Labor leaders, expressing a grave concern about failing economy and a looming human crisis in the country, asked the rulers to take drastic steps in the coming budget to check uncontrollable food inflation and rising joblessness.

Addressing a joint press conference at Karachi Press Club on Wednesday, Nasir Mansoor of National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), Gul Rehman of Worker’s Rights Movement (WRM), Qazi Khizer Vice Chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Sindh, Zehra Khan of Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF), Ghulam Mehboob of PC workers union, Saira Feroz of United HB Garments Workers Union, Sara Khan (Advocate), Taufeeq Ahmed, Chairperson NTUF, Aqib Hussain of Alternate and Saeed Baloch of PFF said that the wrong economic policies of the rulers have resulted in a grave crisis for workers.

They asked to fix the minimum wage at Rs.50000 per month, and slashing non-productive expenses by fifty percent.

Mansoor said that during the last five years the real wages of workers have fallen by 65 percent and the millions of workers face poverty and hunger. He further said that in 2018 the minimum wage of Pakistani workers was equal to US dollars 133 and it is now just 87 US dollars.

Gul Rahman of Workers’ Rights Movement said the growing price hike, especially the highest food inflation in the history of Pakistan, has compelled millions of worker families to live a miserable life. The price hike rate in the country is 50 percent which is also the highest in the history of this country and Pakistan has even left Sri Lanka behind in chances of default. He said due to sharp inflation there is no purchasing power left with workers.

He further said that as per an estimate by the year end 4 million more worker families would fall beneath the poverty line. They said hunger, joblessness and poverty is everywhere in the country.

Zehra Khan of HBWWF said that the past and present rulers have adopted wrong policies to put brakes to the production process. The growth rate would likely to go in minus territory. Workers are being forcefully sacked from factories. Presently there are more than 2.25 Crore jobless people in Pakistan, about 8.5 percent of the national population. In coming six months one million more workers are likely to be sacked. There is no relief expected for theses jobless workers in budget. The earnings of the people of Pakistan are spent on costly foreign loans and their interest, defense expenses and expenditures of the federal government and nothing is left for the welfare of people. She further said the killer debt trap has affected this nation dangerously.

She added that unfortunately political parties, parliament, judiciary and establishment instead of fighting the economic crisis are fighting amongst themselves, as they are the least concerned about the plights of the poor Pakistanis.

Aqib Hussain of Alternate said that the violent incidents of May 9 are the result of the policies of those elements and powerful personalities who groomed an undemocratic gang and introduced it to politics and it cast negative effects on both economy and politics. These antidemocratic gangs are using one another to play the musical chairs game of our politics. It needs that the working class should reject these gangs.

Speakers demanded that the minimum wage should be fixed at Rs.50000 per month and should also work on fixing living wages for the workers. Social security and pension should be made mandatory. Pension should be at least equal to minimum wage. Quality education should be provided by the State free of cost. Public transport fares should be slashed by fifty percent. Electricity to users consuming up to 300 units should be made on fixed charges. Agricultural reforms should be introduced and government lands should be given to landless Haris free of cost. Agricultural tax should be recovered from landlords.

They asked to supply gas and electricity to export industry without load shedding. Subsidies should be given on basic food items. Relations should be improved with neighbor’s especially India. Disappearance of political workers should be stopped and civilian accused should not be tried in military and anti-terrorist courts. (PR)





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