Labourers being denied legal rights: Leghari
LAHORE: Millat Party president Farooq Leghari said on Wednesday labourers were being crushed by an unjust system and his party would raise a voice for their legitimate rights at every forum, including parliament.
Addressing a labour seminar at a local hotel in connection with May Day, Mr Leghari said labourers had been denied basic rights. “The Millat Party wants that labourers get their rights. We believe in justice and equity. Employer and employee equally contribute to national development,” he added.
Millat Party vice president Malik Abdul Qayyum presided over the seminar.
Mr Leghari said trade unions were not a hurdle to economic growth. “The previous regimes deprived the government employees of their jobs in the name of rightsizing. On the other hand, prices are rising constantly. Today 85% of our population is poor and Pakistan’s growth rate is negative,” said Mr Leghari, adding Pakistan could also develop quickly, like China did, if it polished its labourers’ skills and granted them their rights. Malik Abdul Qayyum said labourers’ wages were very low and prices were sky high. “There is a huge difference in the salaries of gazetted and non-gazetted officials, though the cost of living is the same,” he added.
He said there were only 5 employment grades in most countries but Pakistan had 22 grades for its civil service. He said: “This is a sign we are still following the British system meant to enslave Asians.” He said labourers had the legal right to form unions, but successive governments had denied them the basic right.
Senator Mohammad Ali Durrani said Pakistani labourers and citizens were victims of injustice. “Millat Party and labourers will have to work hand in hand to get their rights. Millat Party was founded to empower the citizens of Pakistan and it will continue its struggle till the objective is achieved.” Provincial Minister Hussain Jahania Gardezi, Millat Party Lahore president Chaudhry Zaheer Ahmad, labour leaders Lala Mohammad Hanif, Rana Waris, Fazal-e-Wahid, Khalid Bhatti, Amin Bhatti, Shahid Malik, Raja Shafique, Malik Munir, Latif Qureshi and Hanif Toor also addressed the seminar.