“The day symbolises the sanctity and dignity of labour, and at the same time, it was an acknowledgment of the importance of workers and labourers for being central to the economic growth of the country,”
a press release issued by the media wing of PM Office quoted the premier as saying.
Labour Day, also known as May Day is observed around the world on May 1 every year to express solidarity and honour the rights of the labour class. The day celebrates the work and achievements of labourers across the globe and initiate steps for the provision of job protection to them against any exploitation.
In his message on Labour Day, PM Shehbaz Sharif reaffirmed the government’s commitment to improving the working and living conditions of workers and to supplementing their welfare through the provision of better housing, education facilities and health cover for them and their families.
The present government was committed to ensuring the benefits of economic progress translated into prosperity for all sections of the population, particularly the labourers and workers, he said.
PM Shehbaz further stated that international workers’ day reminds us of the sacrifices of the workers who laid down their lives while waging a relentless struggle for their rights.
“Our great religion, Islam, emphasises the principles of social justice, equity and respect for the rights of the people. Allah Almighty and the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) have ordered us to fulfill the rights of the workers and not be lax in the performance of this core duty,” the premier was quoted saying.
He said they found numerous inspiring examples of the dignity of labourers and respect for the rights of the working class in the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Keeping in view the high inflation rates and other economic challenges, PM Shehbaz said that the government had increased the minimum wages of workers from Rs17,500 to Rs25,000 per month.
He further stated that the government also aimed to develop automated, integrated systems for workers’ welfare institutions to ensure transparency and to curtail delays in providing relief to the labourers and workers.
Labour force is backbone of our economy: Alvi
Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi said that this year the nation was celebrating Labour Day with the resolve to reaffirm commitment to the dignity of labour and pay tribute to the valiant and heroic struggle of the workers for their fundamental rights.
“The day is not only a reminder of the struggle of workers but also an acknowledgement of their contribution towards economic development. We believe that workers and employers are partners in the production process and their cooperation is essential for industrial efficiency that ultimately leads to socio-economic uplift of the country,” the president said.
He regretted that despite their contribution towards economic prosperity, labourers were facing many issues like the unsafe working environment, unfair labour practices, poor wages, lack of job security, harassment of women at the workplace, long working hours and arbitrary dismissal.
“The labour force is the backbone of our economy and it is highly essential to take steps for the protection of their rights by strictly enforcing the labour laws to discourage unfair labour practices,”
He highlighted the need to provide the “huge labour force and youth bulge” of Pakistan with modern skill sets to put the economy on fast-track development.
The president hoped that the federal and provincial governments would continue their endeavours to work for their welfare as well as to provide them with marketable skill sets.
He also urged the workers of the country to play their role in making the country economically stronger and vibrant, and employers to ensure the protection of the rights of labour and work for their welfare.