From The Express Tribune:
International Labour Day is observed throughout the world on May 1 to commemorate the martyrs of the US city of Chicago who laid down their lives in May 1886, while demanding an eight-hour working day. The day has since been observed regularly by industrial workers and labourers across the world, marked by rallies and seminars in which they demand their rights enshrined in labour and industrial laws.
While workers have been denied their rights in many parts of the world, Pakistan is no different. The previous government took some good decisions regarding the working class. It increased minimum wage, lifted the ban on trade unions, repealed anti-labour laws like the Removal from Service (Special Power) Ordinance 2000 and Section 2A of the Services Tribunal Act of 1973, and came up with a new labour policy.
Despite some good laws, most Pakistani workers are still exploited due to the non-implementation of laws.
Human history is the story of exploitation under specious excuses of race, gender, caste or creed. However, the driving force underlying all such discriminations has been the ambition of the idle few to prevail upon the industrious majority. Work is the ultimate virtue, the absence of which afflicts communities and nations with ignorance, deprivation and disease. In this era of globalisation where privatisation is rife, labour laws are essential to protect the rights of the working class.
Far from being a purely denominational event, Labour Day is a celebration of justice, peace and equality. Workers’ rights cannot be guaranteed in a world ruled by the might of classes, cliques and states. The dignity of labour is intrinsically woven in the matrix of human collective.