Families of 260 martyred workers of Ali Enterprises factory inferno still await justice but the culprits of this gory incident are beyond the reach of the law of the land. The exploitation of workers would continue till doling out justice to the affectees and improving working conditions of factories and workplaces, said the speakers of a rally on Thursday.
The rally was staged jointly by the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) and the Association of Affectees of Baldia Tragedy to express solidarity with the martyrs of Baldia tragedy that marched from the Regal Chowk to the Karachi Press Club (KPC) led by NTUF President Muhammad Rafiq Baloch and Saeeda Khatoon of the Association of the Affectees of Baldia Tragedy. A large number of workers belonging to different industries and the heirs of the martyrs attended the rally. The NTUF also arranged such rallies in Hyderabad, Hab, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan and other towns on the occasion of April 14.
While addressing the rally, the protesting leaders said that despite passage of three years the heirs of 260 martyred workers were yet deprived of justice. They braved extreme mental agony and many of them were suffering from psychological trauma and other diseases, they added. “Some of them are already in the state of hopelessness. However, the government is yet to issue the notification of the appointment of the commissioner of compensation. The EOBI and other social security institutions have issued pension to the elder heirs for only five years and after this there will be no one to take care of them,” the speakers said.
They said the apathy of the government could be seen from the fact that it was constantly changing its point of view about this sad incident to cater its political interests. The full report of the newly-formed joint investigation team was yet to be submitted to the court, they said. “This is apathy of the government that in the JIT report the owners of the factory have been declared innocent.”
The speakers said that the government, despite this heart-wrenching incident, had failed to ensure solid steps and planning for improving working conditions for millions of workers in their factories and workplaces. “This is why deadly industrial incidents are being continuously reported from different industries, factories and workplaces. But the government has failed to fulfill its announcements as well as its obligations under different international agreements. Only the innocent workers are paying the price of this failure of the government,” they concluded.