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President signs services tribunal amendment bill

The Pakistan People’s Party has its roots in the working class of the country. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto envisioned a Pakistan where the Labor Class could live with dignity and honor. Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto durgin her  governments pursued extensive agendas to address the pressing issues of the working class of the country. Amidst a whirlpool of problems ranging from the War on Terror to the ever increasing inflation, the Peoples’ Government has rendered its services for the working class.

Thousands of workers in different public sector organisations have been reinstated, a 12% share has been distributed among the labor force of these institutions. This is because the Pakistan People’s Party’s belief in a society where the workers are the owners of the State. In accordance with the wishes of Benazir Bhutto and her political manifesto, President Asif Ali Zardari today signed the Services Tribunal Amendment Bill.

Recently in Karachi, President Asif Ali Zardari has signed two laws to repeal the Removal from Services (Special Powers) Ordinance 2000 and Services Tribunal Act(amendment bill 2010) and said the laws are aimed at protecting the working classes from exploitation and arbitrary termination from service.

Addressing a ceremony in Karachi where he signed these two bills, the president said the Removal from Services Ordinance was a bad law as it conferred arbitrary powers on the authorities in violation of the fundamental rights of workers.

The president called upon all the political forces to join hands in national interest in improving the lot of the working classes and for protecting them from exploitation. The president said the government prepared plans to build 80,000 housing units for the labour and minimum wage was enhanced to 6,000 rupees per month.

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Humza Ikram

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  • While one must begin by acknowledging that no other mainstream party would even concede this much to the working class, it is a matter of grave concern that the original thrust of the PPP is being diluted.

    The founding documents of the party called for a “classless society, which is only possible through socialism in our time” and the 1968 program clearly envisioned a worker state in which workers would democratically control all production.
    This platform was far more radical than any program, even those of Communist parties, in the sub-continent.

    Today we are seeing a caricature of this program. Giving the workers 10% *shares* in state owned companies makes workers junior partners – at best- in benefits from their labour.
    If the party tries to *manage* capitalism, it will get its self in a mess. This is particularly true in the current period when Capitalism is failing to provide relief to workers and we see that even in advanced countries like the US we see huge layoffs and cutbacks in benefits.

  • President Zardari has signed the Services Tribunal (Amendment) Bill 2010, repealed the Removal from Service (Special Power) Ordinance 2000 and Section 2A of the Services Tribunal Act 1973, a controversial clause that deprived redress to employees as they were not allowed to approach labour courts. Signing this bill, president gave voice to the working class. The government has moved in the right direction by taking the PPP back to its original pro-people roots. When the PPP came into being in 1967, its manifesto aroused great enthusiasm amongst the working class and the peasantry as it promised them a bright future. Since its foundation PPP is constantly working for the rights of working class and PPP can be singled out as a party that always empowered against the whims of establishment and elite class. That’s why PPP could not become apple of establishment’s eye.
    It is a welcome sign that after policy meandering for two years, this government has taken a concrete step for the workers by reversing the draconian laws pertaining to the working class.

  • Signing the Services Tribunal (Amendment) Bill of 2010, President Asif Ali Zardari has undone one of the more controversial pieces of legislation put in place during the Musharraf era. It proved that PPP is strictly adhered to its precedents and firmly working on its agenda to empower worker and browbeaten lower class. The move is no doubt welcoming. Over the years workers have, as a result both of legislation and mechanisms used at workplaces, lost many rights. Unions for instance have been barred at more and more places. The fact that they do not exist makes it easier for employers to exploit those who work for them. By changing the provisions of the law, the PPP has delivered on one of the promises made before it was elected. Not only this Benazir employees stock scheme and Benazir income support program are two mega projects to compensate the exploitation of workers by a dictator. I am sure working on its agenda PPP is much more committed to do work for the rights of labors, while president has recently announced setting up housing colonies and enhancing the minimum wage. The worth mentioning thing is that many laws intended to protect labors exist only on paper but PPP practically did it.