Baldia factory affectees demand compensation

KARACHI: The Baldia Factory incident victims’ relatives demanded compensation that was promised to them after the tragic fire incident back in 2012, on the second imminent anniversary in a press conference, at Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Tuesday.
The National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) leader, Nasir Mansoor, on the occasion, said that the government had announced to issue EOBI pension cards (lifetime) to the heirs of all slain factory workers of the incident but even after two years a large number of people are still deprived.
He said that Association of the Affectees of Baldia Tragedy delegation met Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) director but the meeting came to an end with no consequences. Contrary to claims of lifetime pension cards, he said that 40 victims families out of 259 were issued cards that were valid for 2 to 3 years.
He criticised RINA, the Italian audit company for issuing Social Audit Certificate that certified social and ethical responsibilities of a company under the principles of International Labor Organizations, to the relevant company twenty days prior to the incident. “We have concerns over the issuance of social audit certificates to another ninety local companies by RINA,” he said. Moreover, he said that the Punjab government did not compensate the families, despite promises of compensation of Rs 300,000 per head were made by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Correspondingly, Malik Riaz of Bahria Town had promised to compensate Rs 200,000 per head but still many victims’ families were not compensated.
He accused national and international companies of exploiting labour rights and said that the German company KIK violated the written accord by discontinuing compensation.
“Pakistan is the only country where industrialists make unions to oppress labourers. The labour laws are not being implemented in factories and workplaces and labours have been facing injustices. International brands, social audit companies and local manufacturers have been fetching the huge profit without fulfilling their legal responsibilities,” he opined.
On the occasion, the trade union leader informed that an international delegation would visit Pakistan to file a case in the court of Germany. During the visit, a strategy would be made to file cases against RINA and KIK in Pakistan, Italy and Germany. Moreover, the relatives and NTUF urged international laws should be implemented and steps for health and safety of labours at workplaces should be implemented.

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