Labour Day 2012 being observed today
Lahore (May 1, 2012) – May Day (Yaum i Mazdoor) is being observed across the globe and Pakistan with the pledge to work for the welfare of the labourers.
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In Pakistan, the labour community is also celebrating the ‘Labour Day’ as an official holiday. In this regard, the labour unions throughout the country have organised seminars, rallies and parades to emphasize the history of Labour Day and its importance.
Poet Iqbal’s Message to a Mazdoor
Pakistan became a member of the International Labour Organization (ILO) right after its independence in 1947. The ILO is a United Nations (UN) specialised agency that promotes social justice and universally acknowledged human and social rights.
Pakistan’s first Labour policy was devised in 1972, in which May 1 was declared an official holiday, for the workers’ rights Pakistan have signed various international labour laws. This policy also formulated the creation of the Social Security Network (SSN), Old Age Benefit Schemes (OABS) and Workers Welfare Fund (WWF).
The importance of this day is highlighted in commemoration of economic and social achievements of Labour Union Movement, which started from the US in 19th century. The main reason of existence of this movement was that there was a practice of taking unlimited working hours by the workers in the industrial areas of Chicago without giving them any weekly holiday and additional financial incentives.
This injustice system compelled the Labour Union Movement to launch struggle against the employers for acceptance of its demand through eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.
The history of this Movement is based on the fact that some labours were killed on the issue of an eight-hour workday in Chicago in 1886, which turned the Labour Movement into strong drive. This situation laid a great pressure on the State due to which it had to accept and provide the legal support to their demand of eight hour working and other genuine facilities for the working class.