Trade unionists laud new book on labour unions in country

A book, titled ‘Mapping of Labour Unions in Pakistan’, was launched at a local hotel on Wednesday by a German think tank, Fredrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES).

The launch ceremony was hosted by FES Programme Coordinator Abdullah Dayo and presided over by veteran labour leader Abdul Latif Nizamani. The event was attended by representatives of major labour federations and trade unions from across the country.

© 2021 Anadolu Agency KARACHI, PAKISTAN – APRIL 30: Pakistani people make clay pots to earn living for their family on the eve of International Labour Day in Karachi, Pakistan on April 30, 2021. (Photo by Sabir Mazhar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

At the beginning, the author, Zeenia Shaukat, gave a brief overview of labour unions in Pakistan, while co-authors Muhammad Rafiq and Shuja Qureshi highlighted various topics of the book.

Later, senior labour leader and secretary of the National Labour Council Karamat Ali expressed his views via video link saying that the struggle for labour rights under a united platform was the need of the hour as the labour movement in the country had weakened.

Ali lamented the government’s role as described in the book and criticised the labour commission’s biased policies.

Nizamani said that analysis of labour organisations and understanding of their procedures and democratic principles was an integral part of the workers’ struggle. He added that this effort of the FES would serve as a beacon for labour organisations for improving their skills and modernising themselves in accordance with international standards.

Nasir Mansoor of the National Trade Union Federation, however, felt the need for improvements in the book. He suggested that after the book’s careful review, proposals should be compiled in writing and handed over to the researchers to discuss the left-out topics in the next edition.

Zehra Khan of the Home-Based Women Workers Federation said that the book had covered the operational practices and challenges of the labour organisations with simplicity and brevity.