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UNI PALC Conference 2024: Strengthening labour rights in Pakistan


UNI PALC Conference 2024: Strengthening labour rights in Pakistan

The UNI Pakistan Liaison Council (PALC) Conference, held on 13-14 May 2024, saw an important gathering of UNI affiliates and solidarity social partners to address key current challenges facing workers in Pakistan.

Mustered under the theme “Rising Together” with strong support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Pakistan, 400 participants comprising 30 delegates, 30 observers and 340 guests convened at the APWA College Auditorium, Lahore, with additional participants joining virtually.

The UNI PALC Conference focused on workers’ issues in Pakistan, the role of women in trade unions, and strategies for strengthening the labour movement, and adopted several significant resolutions, including:

  1. Ensuring worker representation in provincial and national assemblies proportional to the country’s labour force.
  2. Recognizing sanitary workers as equal citizens and ensuring their labour and human rights.
  3. Establishing trade unions for workers in delivery, courier, online taxi/motorcycle, and tech services, granting them collective bargaining rights and labour protections.
  4. Granting equal status to women workers, ending workplace harassment, and ensuring equal employment quotas.
  5. Expressing solidarity with Metro Cash & Carry workers and demanding recognition of their trade union.
  6. Condemning the sacking of media workers and demanding their reinstatement.
  7. Including Lady Health Workers’ 2012 permanent extension in their service seniority and pension/retirement plans.
  8. Condemning violence against civilians in Palestine and appealing for international recognition of Palestine as an independent state.

UNI Asia and Pacific Regional Secretary Rajendra Acharya in his keynote address, praised the commitment of UNI affiliates in Pakistan and highlighted their role in UNI Global Union’s work to empower workers worldwide. He said:

“With affiliates and partners worldwide, UNI Global Union brings together workers from over 150 countries in the service economy to win better jobs and lives. UNI helps workers build power by growing unions through organizing, protecting and expanding collective bargaining, and holding corporations and governments accountable to workers, not just an elite few. I am very proud to see our affiliates in Pakistan contributing to this global voice and solidarity with today’s gathering.”

The conference elected a new Executive Board and Management Committee for UNI PALC for the 2024-2027 term, ensuring continued leadership and sustainability in following up on the resolutions adopted.

Mr. Mohsin Ilyas was elected as President and Ch. Muhammad Farooq as General Secretary, leads a diverse team, including women and youth representatives, committed to advancing workers’ rights in Pakistan.

The UNI PALC Conference 2024 marks a step forward in fostering unity for UNI affiliates in Pakistan to collaborate on future initiatives and solidarity actions and successfully demonstrate their dedication to improving labour conditions and strengthening the collective voice of workers nationwide.