According to a press release of The National Trade Union Federation(NTUF), on the occasion of fourth anniversary of Baldia factory blaze, the victims’ families and labor rights organizations have welcomed the decision from Geneva, Switzerland to compensate those affected by the fire.
The KiK will pay USD 5.15 million in compensation to the families of those perished in the fire overnight. This has been done with the help of international actors’s involvement in the negotiation process.
The NTUF and AEFAA thanked the International Labor Organization, IndustriALL Global Union, Clean Clothes Campaign as well as German government and others for their contribution in the process. With this decision, a long standing demand of laborers is going to be fulfilled.
This was announced during an event, organized by NTUF and AEFAA,to mark the fourth anniversary of the inferno outside the same ill-fated factory on Sunday.
A large number of victims’ families, industrial and home-based workers and others took part in the event to pay homage to their lost comrades.
At the start of the event, one-minute silence was observed in remembrance of the fallen. Young poet Comrade Mushtaq Ali Shan recited couplets written for the deceased workers while Comrade Muhammad Ali sung a song for them.
The speakers at the event said that Ali Enterprises fire incident was one of the worst industrial disasters in which 260 people lost their lives. Four years on, the victims’ families are still awaiting the justice, they said.
The factory itself and its working conditions were in violationof the labor laws in place, they said. Excluding owners and others from the case despite having evidences on record against them is incomprehensible, they added.
Describing the condition of the heirs of the victims, the speakers said that during these four years many of them died after suffering excessive mental stress and other problems.
They told that the victims had also filed a case against Italian social auditing company RINA for issuing a fake safety certificate to Ali Enterprises.
Talking about the compensation decision with KiK, they said that an ILO fact finding mission recently visited Pakistan to make assessments.
Afterwards, they added, talks were held in Geneva, Switzerland on September 5 and 6 in which Industrial Global Union and Clean Clothes Campaign represented the victims.
Due to these talks, the KiK has agreed to pay USD5.15 million in compensation to the victims. A copy of this agreement is attached herewith. Moreover, a collective statement of labor organization is also attached.
The speakers told that the group insurance and gratuity fund case was finally taken up by the Commissioner on Compensation and the hearing was on September 22.
The participants of the event made the demands including punishment of the real culprits behind the Baldia factory fire incident, registration of all factories under the Factories Act and implementation of labor laws, commemoration of September 11 as health and safety day, especially in Sindh, abolishing of private social auditing system and strengthening of labor inspection system by taking into account the recommendations of labor organizations, the burnt site of Ali Enterprises should be turned into a monument of martyred workers and establishment of training facility for laborers on health and safety, life time provision of EOBI pension to the families of victims.
Those who spoke at the event include NTUF, Deputy General Secretary, Nasir Mansoor, Advisor to Sindh CM on Labor, Saeed Ghani, Faisal Edhi of Edhi Foundation, PILER, Director, Karamat Ali, AEFAA Senior Vice President, Saeeda Khatoon, NTUF President, Rafiq Baloch, labor leader Habib Junaidi, Home Based Women Workers Federation’s general secretary Zehra Khan, Workers Rights Movement leader Gul Rehman, and others.
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