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September 10, 2019

Two events planned to mark anniversary of Baldia factory fire

Karachi

September 10, 2019

The National Trade Union Federation has also announced it will commemorate the 7th anniversary of the Baldia factory fire incident on Wednesday outside the factory on Hub River Road in Baldia Town.

A few days back, the Sindh Labour Department in collaboration with trade unions and labour support organisations, including the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) had announced it would observe the anniversary of the country’s deadliest fire incident on the same day at the Arts Council Karachi with the theme ‘Occupational Safety and Health Day’.

According to the NTUF press release, the trade union body in collaboration with Ali Enterprises Factory Fire Affectees will organise an event outside the factory which will be attended by victims’ families, survivors, trade unions and political activists.

Minister for Labour and Manpower Saeed Ghani will be the chief guest in both events on Wednesday. On Thursday, according to the PILER’s press release, a meeting for finalising programmes to commemorate the deadly incident’s anniversary was held at the PILER centre.

Abdul Rasheed Solangi, secretary of labour, Government of Sindh; Karamat Ali, executive director of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), Farhat Parveen, executive director of NOW Communities, and others attended the meeting.

The meeting’s participants decided that a seminar on occupational safety and health care in Sindh would be held at the Arts Council Karachi on September 11. Minister for Labour and Manpower Saeed Ghani will be the chief guest, while labour department officials, experts in occupational safety and health and trade union leaders will also speak.

Solangi said in the meeting that the Sindh government had decided in 2017 to observe 11th September as Occupational Safety and Health Day every year to mark the anniversary of the Baldia fire incident.

As many as 259 workers had died in the worst factory fire caused by an arson attack at Ali Enterprises, a garments manufacturing unit in Baldia Town, on September 11, 2012. Just after the Baldia fire incident, he said, a Joint Action Plan for Promoting Workplace Safety and Health in Sindh was prepared in collaboration with the Labour Department, the Employers Federation of Pakistan, the Pakistan Workers Federation and the ILO.

Under the Sindh Occupational Safety and Health Act 2017, the labour secretary stated the government had recently established the Occupational Safety and Health Council to protect the rights and monitor the working conditions of people in the labour force. The 22- member council is also comprises representatives from employers, labour organisations and occupational safety and health experts.

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