LAHORE: Under pressure from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and labour unions, the Punjab government is withdrawing the condition of at least 50 employees for forming a workers’ union in an industrial unit.

The condition is being withdrawn by amending the Punjab Industrial Relations Act 2010, which was passed by the Punjab Assembly after labour was devolved to provinces under the 18th Amendment. Earlier, the law was called the Industrial Relations Ordinance and did not contain such a condition. No other province had introduced the clause while adopting their respective laws.

Amendment to the law was submitted in the provincial assembly in its last session, and sources said the standing committee to which it was referred to for a report, cleared it on Tuesday.

The amendment bill was likely to be passed during this month as the government intended to announce withdrawal of the condition on May 1, the International Labour Day.

Under the condition, a union could be formed only if there were at least 50 employees in an industrial unit.

Labour unions had opposed it on the grounds that it disallowed workers of small units to form their groups and claim facilities under the law. They had also approached the ILO to make the provincial government withdraw the condition.

Medium-sized and even some big units exploited the condition and showed they had less than 50 employees to prevent formation of workers’ unions. This would help them avoid labour laws.

Pakistan Workers Confederation Punjab President Rubina Jameel welcomed the decision and said the withdrawal of the condition would help workers of small and medium units to form unions and seek benefits such as social security, EOBI pensions and protection under other labour laws.

Labour leader Hanif Ramay said the government was going to correct its mistake that was undermining basic rights of workers.

“Now no industrialist will be able to pretend that he has less than 50 employees therefore his unit cannot have a workers’ union. The government decision will also disallow industrialists from stopping workers from seeking facilities and protection under several laws,” he said.

Opinion

Biden’s world
27 Jan 2021

Biden’s world

The boundaries and limits of this new world are even more stringent than before.
The PDM’s predicament
27 Jan 2021

The PDM’s predicament

Expediency is the essence of politics. So one should not be surprised by the PPP’s divergence.

Editorial

27 Jan 2021

Pemra’s powers

IN an increasingly restrictive environment for the media, the last thing Pemra needs is more powers to tighten the...
27 Jan 2021

Increasing debt

THE numbers released by the State Bank regarding the government’s domestic debt stock and servicing at the end of...
27 Jan 2021

Women in conflict

“WHEN the guns fall silent, it does not mean the suffering of women and girls stops. The suffering and abuse that...
Pakistan-US ties
Updated 26 Jan 2021

Pakistan-US ties

The US remains the world’s most powerful country, one Pakistan cannot afford to ignore.
26 Jan 2021

NAB not impartial

NAB CHAIRMAN retired justice Javed Iqbal has claimed that his organisation is an unbiased anti white-collar-crime...
26 Jan 2021

Pakistan-South Africa series

IN what is seen as a rare instance, Pakistan start as the underdogs on their home turf when they take on South ...