President, Employers’ Federation of Pakistan, Ismail Suttar, while holding authorities responsible for Mehran Town tragedy, has said that continuous violations of labor laws, disregard of occupational health and safety protocols, non-registration of industrial units, approval of industrial units in residential areas, ineptness of labor inspectors, and massive corruption etc., result in factory fires, building collapses and death of workers, and the primary blame lies with government authorities.
In a statement, Ismail Suttar, while directly laying the responsibility on Sindh Labor Department KMC, Deputy Commissioners, KDA, etc., said that the government functionaries have not learnt any lessons from the Baldia garment factory inferno nor are they concerned about human safety and health.
“Sindh Labor Department has only 125 labor inspectors for entire Sindh and a vast majority of them are ignorant of health and safety requirements or even labor laws”, he added. EFP has many times offered its services to train labor inspectors as a Corporate Social Responsibility but there has been no response from the government.
EFP president moreover added that it is high time representatives of workers and employers join together at a meeting of Workers Employers Bilateral Council of Pakistan (WEBCOP) to advocate strict adherence to the law, identify and lobby for immediate removal of all industrial units from residential areas, mandatory insurance for all workers, third party audits of OSH structured by EFP in all factories, compulsory registration of all industrial units by Labor Department, SESSI and EOBI, and ensuring payment of Minimum Wages to all employees.
Mr. Ismail assured leaders of Workers Federations that EFP is solidly with them in ensuring full compliance of ILO International Labor Standards and achievement of common objectives.