LAHORE: Bonded Labour Liberation Front (BLLF) Pakistan in collaboration with the European Union and Action Aid organised a rally on World Day of Social Justice from Press Club to Awan-e-Iqbal via Edgerton road in Lahore on Friday.
A large number of brick kiln workers participated in this peaceful rally for their due rights and social justice. Holding placards and banners workers chanted slogan for their right, demanding to government to eliminate forced labour and payment of advance money (peshgi) to brick kiln workers.
The rally was led by BLLF Secretary General Syeda Ghulam Fatima, whereas BLLF Executive Member Mahar Safdar Ali, Project Coordinator Imran Naseem, Mazdoor Mahaz Pakistan President Chaudhry Shaukat, Bhatta Mazdoor Union President Syed Ayaz Hussain, All Pakistan Trade Union Federation President Fazal Wahid, communist Taimur Rahman, civil society organisations’ representatives and people from different walks of life participated in it.
On this occasion, BLLF General Secretary Syeda Ghulam Fatima said that the day was celebrated every year where thousands of workers participated and demand their due rights. She warned the government that if the demands of brick kiln workers were not fulfilled by May 1, 2014, a countrywide strike would take place and its responsibility would lie on the government of Punjab. She said that to eliminate social evils and to provide fundamental rights to workers, the government must implement the laws regarding labours.
She said that it was a fact that “justice delayed is justice denied”, adding that brick kiln workers were still waiting for their due rights. She demanded that brick kiln workers should be given a minimum wage of Rs 1,500 per thousand bricks, social security cards, and EOBI, health and education benefits.
Further, she said that the BLLF would continue its struggle to support the brick kiln worker until they were provided their due rights.
Mahar Safdar Ali said that it was the need of the hour to eradicate bonded labour in Pakistan through strict implementation of laws.
Imran Naseem said that the labour class played a vital role in the growth of the economy, so they should be provided with social justice and social protection. At the rally, Taimur Rahman sang a song for workers.
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