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ماہنامہ دختران اسلام > مئی 2021 ء > Labours: The Nation Builders
ماہنامہ دختران اسلام : مئی 2021 ء
> ماہنامہ دختران اسلام > مئی 2021 ء > Labours: The Nation Builders

Labours: The Nation Builders

Aqsa Munawar

Labor Day is celebrated all over the world to acknowledge the labors for their hard work and so in Pakistan on 1st May. On this day seminars, marches and rallies are arranged for labor's rights. A holiday is observed by the both private and governmental organizations. Labor Day is actually marked to get economical and financial rights of labors but irony is that the Labor Day is just like other usual days especially for the laymen labors. They still have to do work on that day too. However, Pakistan has become the part of the International Labor organization but is still not able to give the appropriate and legitimate rights to labors. All the laws made for laborers are just on the piece of paper having no worth at all.

The social class discrimination has entrenched almost every system of our country and so has effects on labor system too. The posh class (means the higher management of organizations, industries and enterprises) get all the profits of turmoil of the impoverished or lower labors. And lower labor has to do hard work all the day. They even have to do work more than their actual hours, but still, they don't get enough wages to meet ends. Those wages are not more than jokes in front of their hard turmoil. They don't even get their payments on time. Islam has given a lot of importance about the labor rights. Our beloved Holy Prophet (PBUH) said once

"Pay the laborers their payments before their sweat dries "

The Holy Prophet (PBUH) also said that

"Whoever employs people to work for them, must specify their wages in advance"

The Payment of Wages Act (1936) declares that wages to workers employed in factories and on railways are to be paid within seven days of completion of the wages period, if the number of workers employed therein is less than 1,000. In other cases, the time limit for payment of wages to the workers is 10 days. No deduction can be made from the wages of the workers except as specified in the Act, such as for fines, breach of contract and the cost of damage or loss incurred to the factory in any way other than an accident (Rasheed, 2019).

But in reality, getting payment on time is a distant thing. They are not even paid for their legitimate hard work even putting extra time. Especially the layman labor has to suffer a lot from this and in result child labor arises. Children has to do work so they can earn bread and butter for at least two times a day. children's sweet dreams are put to sleep and tools are held in their hands instead of pens. They become the "chotu" of the shops to whom no one shows compassion. On the other hand, there are the bosses who get all the revenues without doing anything at all. The higher management just luxuriate on the blood and sweat of poor labors.

Private organizations don't provide any health and medical facilities to their workers. They don't give their workers any special allowances but made them to work for almost 12 to 14 hours. They even reduce their number of workers and put a lot of stress as one worker has to do work of three or four people. This havoc routine causes both physical and mental stress on workers. The workers on the agricultural lands i.e., farmers give their sweat to the fields but the landlords simply get all the credit and farmers almost get nothing in the name of payment for their hard work. There are also day laborers which have to do highly laborious physical work such as masons and still have to live from hand to mouth because they are not paid enough to meet ends. There are many workers such as those who work in caves have no proper health equipment at all and in result their health become deteriorated and they get fired.

All the laborers from cobbler, drivers, watchmen, salesmen, manufacturers, masons, farmers, private teachers, janitors, etc. all play the important role in building the Pakistan but get the lowest wages. Even though Pakistan is a developing country it is still one of the lowest paid countries. "In the 2019-20 budget, the federal government and the provincial governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan made the minimum wages of workers from Rs 15,000 to Rs 17,500 per month". But the janitor staff only get payment of 14000 to 15000 per month. The garment industry labors get the income of Rs 11,000 per month. The lowest wage of a laborer in our country is of per hour wage labor which is mere Rs 300 or Rs 303.

The Constitution of Pakistan contains a range of provisions with regards to Labour rights found in Part II: Fundamental Rights and Principles of Policy. (ILO, 2004)

Article 11 of the Constitution prohibits all forms of slavery, forced Labour and child Labour;

Article 17 provides for a fundamental right to exercise the freedom of association and the right to form unions;

Article 18 proscribes the right of its citizens to enter upon any lawful profession or occupation and to conduct any lawful trade or business;

Article 25 lays down the right to equality before the law and prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of sex alone;

Article 37(e) makes provision for securing just and humane conditions of work, ensuring that children and women are not employed in vocations unsuited to their age or sex, and for maternity benefits for women in employment.

So, the question arises what is the need of these amendments in legislature of labors if they still have to fight for their basic rights. What's the point of Labor Day if they still have to do work on that day too? Most of the laborer's are even not actually aware of the importance of this day. So, isn't it mere a holiday for those people to whom it doesn't already matter? Labor Day is not just meant to be celebrated to pay homage to the martyrs of Haymarket riot (1886), it was also introduced so the labors could get those basic rights from which Chicago labors (Haymarket labors) had been deprived of. Every labor either butted to governmental organization or private organization, play an important role in establishment of Pakistan. What would happen if they stop their work and start hitting the roads because of minimum wages?

To improve this situation, government should provide proper financial rights and safety to the laborers. Every labor should be registered under the government either labors abutted to private or government sectors. A proper legislature should be introduced and ordered properly so no one can violate the law. Special funds and annuities should be given to the labors. Special safety funds, education funds for their children at least up to matric level, travel funds must be given especially to the laborers with lower wages. Pension should be allocated after retirement to the laborers either they belonged to governmental organizations or private organizations or independent work like masons and farmers etc. jobs should be provided to unemployed persons. Technical institutes should be opened so the skillful laborers work more efficiently and more they can earn.

However, it is our moral duty to pay the wages of the laborers on time. If someone is in higher management position then hire the persons who are illegible to those posts instead of taking those who are not illegible.

References

1. Rasheed. S. A. (2019, June 24). Setting the minimum wage. Daily Times. https://dailytimes.com.pk/417306/setting-the-minimum-wage/

2. ILO, (2004). National Labour Law Profile: Islamic Republic of Pakistan, international labor organization

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