Monday June 24, 2024

Govt urged to increase wages in line with rising inflation

By Our Correspondent
May 02, 2024
Women from different labour organization participating in a rally outside the Press Club on the occasion of International Labour Day on May 1, 2024. — APP
Women from different labour organization participating in a rally outside the Press Club on the occasion of International Labour Day on May 1, 2024. — APP

LAHORE : Women Domestic Workers Union (DWU) Punjab organised a rally in connection with International Labour Day here at Lahore Press Club on Wednesday.

A large number of women domestic workers joined the rally organised in collaboration with Women in Struggle for Empowerment (WISE). The participants were chanting slogans and carrying banners and placards inscribed with demands in favour of domestic workers.

They demanded of the govt to increase their wages in proportion to the rising inflation and implement the minimum wage notification 2023.

Addressing the rally participants, WISE Executive Director Bushra Khaliq said that women domestic workers are vulnerable to discrimination in respect of working conditions, terms of employment and to other abuses of human rights. They are forced to face issues like long and unlimited working hours, violence and multiple forms of abuse at workplace, forced/child labour and insufficient wage etc, she added.

She described that despite the domestic workers law in Punjab, they are not being registered with Punjab Employees Social Security Institution (PESSI). She urged the Punjab govt to frame rules of business for effective implementation of the law by reflecting it in the schedule 2 of Punjab Government Rules of Business, 2001 and to make all the rules as prescribed under Section 2(q) read with Section 38 of the Act of 2019 to enable the departments concerned to apply the law in letter and spirit. President of the DWU Shenaz Ajmal and General Secretary Shenaz Fatima on this occasion urged the PESSI to register domestic workers and issue them social security cards. They demanded that maternity leave for women domestic workers be made 12-weeks instead of 6-weeks and domestic workers be registered with EOBI and provided them cheap transport facility. They said domestic work is among the most vital functions of households and society as a whole. It is also one of the lowest paid jobs, and at the same time with long and unpredictable working hours. “Domestic workers make a critical contribution to families, societies and economies across the world”.

Chicago martyrs paid tributes

Lahore witnessed a powerful demonstration of unity as workers from various industrial areas convened at Punjabi Complex, Gaddafi Stadium, on Wednesday to mark International Labour Day.

Representing a multitude of sectors, workers voiced their grievances and demands for better working conditions. Amidst chants and slogans, speakers from unions such as Shaheen, Unilever, and Bata paid homage to the martyrs of Chicago, underscoring the continued struggle for labour rights.

Addressing pressing issues such as economic downturns, inflation, and workplace harassment, they called upon government officials, including the Prime Minister and Chief Minister of Punjab, to take decisive action. Key demands included a minimum wage of Rs50,000, representation in assemblies, and social security for all workers.

Additionally, calls for the implementation of labor laws, equal pay for equal work, and gender equality resonated throughout the rally. The protest, not confined to Lahore alone, echoed across other cities as well, showcasing a nationwide movement for labor rights and fair treatment. As the voices of workers reverberated through the streets, their message was clear: it's time for change.