PSA: ITUC Report On Core Labour Standards In Pakistan

by matttbastard

ITUC Press Release:

Brussels, 16 January 2008: The ITUC released a new report today showing that all core labour standards, even if ratified, are violated massively and flagrantly in Pakistan. This report coincides with the country’s trade policy review at the WTO on 16 and 18 January and highlights important shortcomings in the application and enforcement of core labour standards in the country.

The report shows that the rights enshrined in both conventions protecting trade union rights are not respected. The right of freedom of association is violated systematically and there is insufficient protection against anti-union discrimination. The right to strike cannot be exercised and workers in the country’s three export processing zones do not enjoy the right to form a trade union, bargain collectively or strike.

Hazardous forms of child labour include street vending, surgical instrument manufacturing, deep sea fishing, leather manufacturing, brick making, production of soccer balls, and carpet weaving. The report denounces the fact while Pakistan has ratified both conventions combating forced labour, this practice, including by children, is widespread in the country. Bonded labour is a major issue despite legislation that should outlawed the practice. The report equally recalls that Pakistan is a source, transit and destination country for trafficked people and that currently, women and children are those most vulnerable to such practices.

Women suffer from discrimination in the workplace. While harassment is a serious problem, there is no law in force to combat it yet.

The report ends with a summary of recommendations and conclusions addressed to the government of Pakistan in an attempt to redress its non compliance with the ILO core labour standards.

To read the full report: please click here

The ITUC represents 168 million workers in 156 countries and territories and has 311 national affiliates.For more information, please contact the ITUC Press Department on: +32 2 224 0204 or +32 476 621 018

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PSA: Solidarity With PWF

by matttbastard

Via LabourStart:

ITUC joins Pakistan Workers’ Federation in Calling for Restoration of Democracy

Brussels, 5 November 2007: The ITUC has joined its Pakistan affiliate, the PWF, in calling for the immediate restoration of the rule of law, the country’s Constitution and the fundamental democratic rights of its people. Fundamental rights including freedom of association and of assembly have been suspended under the state of emergency imposed by Pakistan’s military ruler General Pervez Musharraf, heavy restrictions have been imposed on the media, members of the opposition have been detained, and the government is placing further pressure on lawyers and the judiciary.

“The Constitution, rule of law and proper democratic processes must be restored”, said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder. “General Musharraf’s actions represent a huge step backwards for the whole country, and any attempt to deal with the tensions which exist within Pakistan cannot succeed unless it is based on the full exercise of democratic rights by the people of Pakistan”.

Restrictions which are being imposed on the holding of meetings and demonstrations will have a particuarly heavy impact on Pakistan’s workforce, as their trade unions will be unable to function freely and effectively to represent workers and support their rights. The ITUC calls on the authorities to respect Pakistan’s international obligations, in particular concerning freedom of association, and to take immediate steps to end the state of emergency and enable the elections scheduled for January 2008 to take place in full freedom and fairness.

Related: IUF – “Trade Unionists Arrested In Pakistan Clampdown”:

On November 5; in Karachi, trade unions took the lead in organizing, together with civil society organizations, a protest at the Karachi Press Club. Police arrested the convener of the PC Hotel Workers Solidarity Committee, Liaqat Ali Sahi, and two members of the Solidarity Committee, G. Fareed Awan, Assistant General Secretary of the All-Pakistan Trade Unions’ Federation (APTUF) and Ayub Qureshi, Information Secretary of the Pakistan Trade Union Federation (PTUF). Police also baton charged and arrested journalists and press photographers. The journalists and photographers were released later but not the trade union leaders, who were remanded by court decision to remain in police custody for two days.

More from the PTUDC; full Pakistan coverage @ LabourStart.

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PSA: Solidarity With Novamed Workers

by matttbastard

Brussels, 27 September 2007: The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) condemned the violation of the rights of women workers in Antalya Free Trade Zone in Turkey. The Presidents of the Women’s Committees of the two organisations issued the following statement on the case.

The Women’s Committees of the ITUC and ETUC are expressing their full support of and solidarity with the women workers of Novamed, now on strike for exactly one year in the Antalya Free Trade Zone of Turkey.

They condemn totally the inhuman treatment imposed on these women workers, which is infringing on human and fundamental rights enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Social Charter of the Council of Europe, and Conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The Women’s Committees are particularly shocked by the clear and unambiguous assault on the dignity of these women workers, and the way these women are discriminated against on the basis of their gender.

We understand that the company owning Novamed is a German company, Fresenius Medical Care, which should be fully aware of European and ILO standards and values with regard to gender equality, trade union rights and collective bargaining rights, and should be held accountable for the refusal of Novamed to negotiate with the trade union freely chosen by the workers.

We demand first and foremost for the discrimination and harrassment of women workers to stop and for dignity of these workers to be respected and restored, for the workers to be reinstated with full rights, and secondly we demand from the employers to recognise the union and start negotiations with them about a proper settlement of the situation safeguarding employment for all the workers.

More information:

Patricia Grillo
Head of Press and Communications
Tel: + 32 (0)2 224 04 30 – GSM: + 32 (0)477 77 01 64

Mathieu Debroux,
Press Officer International Trade Union Confederation
Tel:+32 (0)22240204 GSM +32 (0)476621018

More from KESK (by way of MRZine) on the gender-based discrimination faced by Novamed workers:

All the workers who have gone on strike are female workers. Their working conditions are very bad and male-dominated (patriarchal). For example: female workers are required to apply for permission to marry. Married women should get pregnant and give birth in accordance with the schedule arranged by the management. They are humiliated by the managers on account of their sex.

Petrol-Is, the union representing striking Novamed workers, has prepared an information sheet with further background on worker demands and Fresenius Medical Care (also available @ MRZine).

Send messages of support to:

Mr Adil Alaybeyoglu
Petrol-Is Local President

Send protest messages to the following Fresenius executives:

Dr. Emanuele Gatti
FMC Board Member

Dr. Massimo Fini
Executive Manager

Mr Antonio Raffa
Logistics and International
Production Manager
Fresenius Medical Care


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