ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 16th Sep, 2018 ) :The representative unions in textile and garments sectors from across Pakistan have announced the formation of the grand federation of the workers in the sector as a shared platform and joint struggle for the rights of textile and garment sector workers.

The newly announced body named as Pakistan Textile Garments Leather Workers Federation (PTGLWF) has been announced during a press conference held by prominent representatives and leaders and workers' union across Pakistan.

Besides others, Central General Secretary, Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF),Ch Muhammad Yaqoob, Central Organizer PWC, Zahoor Awan M Aslam Wafa and Abdul Qadir, Programme Coordinator and Advisor, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Pakistan also shared their views on the various aspects of working of trade unions in Pakistan and the overall situation of workers' rights in the country, while addressing a press conference here on Sunday.

They informed the media that the name of office bearers of the federation will be finalized and announced during the general body meeting to be held soon.

The workers' leaders were of view that the textile and the garment sectors were the largest sectors of the economy with largest number of employees and workers but unfortunately, the exploited sector of the country as well.

They added further that almost 40% of all industrial workers in Pakistan are linked with textile industry whereas their contribution in overall exports is 62%.

Likewise, they said, Pakistan was the 4th largest cotton producer country and a large number of women were linked with sector including in the ginning and at factory level.

Unfortunately, men and women workers were being exploited alike where their basic rights were denied. They were facing a host of issues including daily wages and contractual employment against regular positions, minimum wages, union forming and registration, forced expulsions and expensive judicial systems.

Therefore, they are facing numerous challenges that doesn't auger well for the sector which is an important part of global value chain.

The workers leaders added further that the exporters, especially in the textile sector gained huge benefits from GSP plus status for Pakistan.

Its quite evident from the fact that the income of export was increased by 55% whereas quantity was increased 33% during the last few years.

However, millions of workers in power looms including women were still to live in miserable conditions and were facing numerous hardships.

While explaining the objectives of forming new federation for the textile and garment sector workers, the workers' leaders explained that the federation will initiate awareness raising campaign with informative materials and voice at global level.

They said that this platform was the first concrete step towards an organized effort to resolve/ the issues such as social security, EOBI registration, discrimination in wage for women which at present stand about 35% to 60% lesser wages.

They opined that there were fewer genuine representative unions in the country and most of the factory owners managed to register fake unions to block the genuine struggle of the workers.

However, the newly constituted federation would now take up all the issues pertaining to rights of workers to resolve these issues holistically and from grassroots to global level.

While explain the rational of announcing the initiative at this moment.

The workers' leaders said that we are forming this federation in the month of September to pay homage to more than 360 workers martyred in the tragic incident of arson occurred in Karachi five years back.

Source : Urdupoint

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