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NTUF demands sweeping reforms in Pak textile industry
Apr '16
Deputy General Secretary National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) Pakistan, Nasir Mansoor has accused the government of not taking any step to end modern day slavery-like conditions for millions of textile and garment workers in Pakistan.

His comment came at a press conference in Karachi on Sunday on the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh where over 1100 garment factory workers lost their lives.

He expressed these views at a press conference at Karachi Press Club to mark third anniversary of Rana Plaza Bangladesh tragedy. Mansoor said that a similar tragedy also happened in Ali Enterprises Karachi on September 11, 2011 when 260 textile workers were burnt alive.

He said that such tragic incidents showed that the local and international labor laws were being deliberately and criminally violated in factories and mills, especially textile and garments factories. He alleged that the government departments were also involved in that conspiracy.

"In Bangladesh, Pakistan and other countries, millions of workers are engaged in textile and garment industry, but in these countries, especially Pakistan and Bangladesh, the workers are deprived of their basic rights guaranteed to them under the law and constitution," Mansoor said.

NTUF President Rafiq Baloch said that many big factories had been working illegally for a long time and they have not bothered to get register themselves.

He claimed that said the process of labour inspection was suspended by the government due to the pressure from factory owners.

"Due to this, industrial incidents are rising sharply. Mostly these incidents occurred in the garment factories that make goods for big international brands," he said.

The international brands were ignoring all local and international safety standards and violating local and international laws to maximise their profit, he added.

Baloch welcomed the development in Bangladesh under which factory owners and the international companies had agreed to give due rights to workers.

The NTUF officials demanded that the international brands should also ink an agreement with Pakistan to ensure rights of workers on the pattern of Bangladesh. They urged the international brands should compulsorily accept the international labour standards and the system of labour inspection should be revived. They demanded human and labour rights under the GSP+ should be fulfilled.

The NTUF also demanded that heirs of those who died in the Ali Enterprises tragedy should be given lifetime pension cards, group insurance and gratuity. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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