Labour day is more than just a holiday, it is a day marked by street demonstrations which showcase the strength of the labour force that hold up the economy. And while many enjoy the annual holiday, the fact is most workers still have to report for duty on the 1st of May. Being able to sit at home and enjoy Labour Day is a privilege that only a few can afford.
In 2017, Pakistan was ranked 143 out of 144 countries based on gap between men and women regarding socioeconomic status and other markers. Pakistan’s population consists of 49% women, out of which only 22.3% women are working.
Pakistan’s first labor policy was devised in 1972, in which May 1 was declared a national holiday. However, workers in Pakistan do not enjoy the same rights as those in more industrialised and developed countries.
Showing solidarity with workers around the world, the labour force in Pakistan takes out demonstrations that highlight the need for better wages and benefits. The labour unions also raise their voice against labour repression.
The above sketch highlights the increasingly dismal conditions of people holding blue collar jobs in the worsening economy.
Many labourers slave away all day long but with the worsening economic situation and increasing prices, they barely make enough money to feed their families.
The International Labour Organisation is a United Nations specialised agency that promotes social justice and human rights. Pakistan became a member of ILO in 1947 and has adopted 36 ILO conventions of which eight are core conventions.
The gender pay gap increases as the seniority of posts increasing.
Pakistan is built on the backs of labourers who work day in and day out at minimum wage – or even less.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government is set to launch the Mazdoor Ka Ehsas program to improve working conditions and empower labourers.