|Joint Resolutions 06|
6th Joint Convention, Karachi, Pakistan from 12 – 14 December 2003
Meeting of the Trade Union Group
120 Trade Union representatives from Pakistan and India attended the Trade Union Group meeting during PIPFPD Convention on 13th December 2003 at Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research (PILER) Headquarter in Karachi, Pakistan. Bro. Karamat Ali, Director, PILER and Bro. Mahendra Sharma from International Transport Workers’ Federation, India were elected as co-chairs of the meeting.
Participants from both the countries reported on the condition of workers, wages and the attack on the labour rights both in India and Pakistan.
It was decided to exchange information on the working conditions, both in the organized and the unorganized informal sector, in both the countries.
It was noted that the workers’ rights are under attack in both the countries due to economic liberalization, privatization policies being pursued by the Government’s under pressure from World Bank, IMF and Asian Development Bank.
As a result of these policies, large number of workers in the organized sector are being made redundant. Policy of Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS)/Golden Hand Shake and even Compulsory Retirement Scheme (CRS) have become a norm being promoted by International Financial Institutions. Labour laws have been or are being amended to the detriment of workers and leaving them at the mercy of employers. This is being done to attract the Foreign Direct Investment and MNC’s.
It was decided to set up a joint working group to study the changes in labour laws and to propose amendments and lobby with Government and Political parties to ensure that the labour legislation are in conformity with core labour standards of the ILO on Freedom of Association, Right to bargain collectively and other conventions.
It was also proposed that there should be regular meetings of representatives of various sectoral workers’ unions from both countries to exchange information and evolve common strategies, as the policies pursued by Governments/Managements are similar.
Group welcomed the Karachi Declaration of South Asian Labour for Peace Conference held in Karachi in September 2003 and decided that all the trade union centres which did not attend this convention be contacted to join the movement. It was also agreed to give wide publicity to the declaration among workers by publishing it in union bulletins.
Meeting declared its wholehearted support for the proposed Peace March from Karachi to Delhi being organized by Dr. Sandeep Pandey to strengthen the process of peace and friendship initiated by PIPFPD.
Participants discussed and expressed concern at the low representation of workers in the Pakistan India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) convention. It was resolved to ask the PIPFPD Secretariats both in India and Pakistan to approach the trade unions at National as well as State and Local level to involve workers’ organizations in promoting Peace, Friendship and Democracy.
It was also felt that participation fee for the convention is too high and workers cannot afford it. Bro. Khwaja Wasim, Chairperson NWFP, Chapter of PIPFPD assured that he will take up the matter at appropriate level for reducing the fees and making PIPFPD a mass movement by involving working class of both the countries.