PM wants wealthy to prioritise improving workers’ conditions

Published May 2, 2024
LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses labourers at a lunch hosted in their honour on Wednesday.—PPI
LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif addresses labourers at a lunch hosted in their honour on Wednesday.—PPI

LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said the government is fully cognisant of the value and role of the labourers and workers in the national economy and stressed upon the wealthy, businessmen, investors and industrialists to prioritise improving working conditions of their workers.

Speaking at a gathering of labourers and workers from different sectors at his residence in connection with the observance of the International Labour Day, the prime minister said the country’s economic situation was challenging but the government was striving to turn it around, with collective efforts and sincerity.

He said the country would soon become powerful through the functioning of a fair system and on the basis of hard work by employers and the employees.

Referring to his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, Mr Sharif said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other Saudi leaders desired to see Pakistan moving on the path of progress.

In May Day message, President Zardari reiterates commitment to upholding dignity of labourers

He said the Saudi business and investors delegation would soon visit the country which would increase businesses and job opportunities in the country.

The prime minister said that in the upcoming fiscal budget, the government would try to provide further relief to the labour class.

The prime minister reiterated the government was striving to end corruption and promised that all organs of government and other state institutions, with their collective efforts, would carve a niche for the country among the comity of nations.

The prime minister said if workers were deprived of their due rights, a country cannot make progress.

The prime minister admitted that due to price hike and inflation, the life for common man has become very difficult.

He said that prices of petroleum products had been reduced but it could not be a substitute to the daily price hike as the labour class had to meet requirements of education of their children, treatment of their parents, and other daily expenditures.

The prime minister said his father was also a worker who attained his earlier education in Amritsar and he later settled in Lahore, where he worked along with his brothers in a steel factory.

He said labour day started after the Chicago incident and later the movement became global. He welcomed the workers and labourers at his residence and said that he felt immense pleasure in hosting them at the residence of the late Mian Muhammad Sharif.

Earlier, the Chairman of PM Youth Programme, Rana Mash­hood Ahmed Khan, highlighted the personal loan scheme for deserving children of workers and said that under the prime minister’s tenure as the chief minister of Punjab, Danish schools and Educational Endowment Funds were established.

President’s message

President Asif Ali Zardari in his message on the occasion of International Labour Day on Wednesday reiterated the government’s commitment to upholding the dignity of labourers and pay tribute to their historic struggle.

He said this day serves as a reminder for all of us to safeguard rights of labourers, and work for labourers’ social protection, fair wages, and safe working conditions.

The president said labourers and the working class in the country are facing unprecedented challenges, such as inflation, rising cost of living, unemployment, and the adverse impacts of the climate change.

He said the state has a crucial role to play in protecting the rights of workers, implementing and enforcing policies to end labourers’ exploitation, protect their rights, and provide social support.

The president called upon the employers to adopt fair wage practices, take steps for workers’ safety and health and ensure the provision of necessary training and protective equipment to labourers working in hazardous environments.

Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2024

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