Pakistan: Trade union leaders urge govt. to create special funds for daily wagers due to factory shutdowns amid Covid-19

Author: The News International, Published on: 17 March 2020

Leaders of an alliance of trade unions...expressed serious concern over impending financial losses to workers, especially to daily-wage earners, due to closure of factories, marketplaces or restrictions on gatherings on account of fear of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

NLC members...urged the government to constitute a Special Support Fund so that in case of closure of the factory or business, it could guarantee the provision of income to the workers as the majority of the workers were working in the informal sector or under the contract system.

They also demanded that workplaces needed to be properly screened and sterilised to save the lives of workers from contacting the deadly virus.

Some exporting countries had reportedly asked Pakistani manufacturers to halt their productions due to lockdowns in different countries in Europe, the speakers said, adding that some factories had been asked to delay their export shipments as shopping centers and departmental stores in many European countries had been closed.

...The labour leaders underlined the need to have close coordination among all the provinces and federal government departments to face this natural calamity, which has affected every section of the society. Daily-wage workers would suffer a lot in the wake of the closure of industries, the labour leaders stated. They pointed out that work at many factories in different industrial areas in the city had been halted or restricted due to the coronavirus threat.

The workers demanded of the government to arrange the provision of essential items, including food, to the poor and low-income people...

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