THE PUNJAB INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT (Act XIX of ). C O N T E N T S. Section Heading. 1. Short title, extent, application and. Short title, extent, application and commencement.— (1) This Act may be cited as the Punjab Industrial Relations Act (2). It extends to the. Name: Punjab Industrial Relations Act, (No. XIX of ). Country Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, Pakistan PDF of Act as amended to Punjab Act No.
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(1) This Act may be called the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Industrial Relations Act, (2). It shall extend to the Province of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Punjab indutrial relations act 1. Punjab Industrial Relation Act ; 2. Definitions Trade unions and freedom of association. 𝗣𝗗𝗙 | The study explores the historical development of labour laws See Punjab Industrial Relations Act (PIRA) Art. 7; Sindh Industrial.
Any woman who becomes visibly pregnant is told to leave. In recent years, these invisible workers have on rare occasions been part of the national conversation, sadly, almost always for wrong and often tragic reasons. The protests began when Khaadi fired 32 workers for demanding their rights under Pakistani law. Worker grievances included arbitrary dismissal of dozens of workers, unsanitary working conditions, extremely long working hours, and salary below the statutory minimum wage.
A month later, after Khaadi struck a deal with union leaders, some workers withdrew their complaints. Five years earlier, on September 12, , Pakistan witnessed the worst industrial disaster in its history when a fire at the Ali Enterprises garment factory in Karachi killed at least workers and injured more than Investigations found a series of irregularities and an almost complete absence of fire and safety mechanisms.
According to surviving workers, the management made no immediate efforts to rescue the workers and instead attempted to save their merchandise first.
Expand Share The fatal fire at Ali Enterprises, which was primarily supplying to KiK Textillien, a German brand, also highlighted serious defects in the auditing and certification process. A, an Italian inspection company, just 22 days before the deadly fire, finding that the factory complied with all the necessary fire and safety mechanisms and labor laws. RINA, the auditing company, had issued similar certificates to over factories in the country.
While the scope of the research is limited given the vast scale of the apparel industry in Pakistan, it nonetheless points to a trend of widespread poor working conditions, identifies key concerns voiced by workers and labor rights advocates, and details the failure of inspection mechanisms to enforce compliance with applicable labor laws and regulations.
But a combination of lack of job security that make it easier to dismiss and control workers, poor government labor inspection and enforcement, and aggressive tactics against independent unions, make it difficult for workers to assert their rights. While most factories cater to the domestic market, some make garments for well-known United States and European retail companies. The larger factories are part of the organized sector of the industry and supply international apparel brands.
The bulk of the manufacturing, however, takes place in the informal economy, operating in small, unregistered shops, and unmarked buildings. These small factories produce for domestic brands, both registered and unregistered.
The working conditions in smaller factories are usually worse than those in larger ones that are more likely to be inspected, particularly if supplying to international brands. Owners of the smaller factories are more likely to refuse to pay the statutory minimum wage and use short-term oral contracts.
However, Human Rights Watch found violations of labor rights including forced overtime, denial of leave, and short-term unwritten contracts even in large Pakistani factories. Labor Rights Abuses Lack of accountability for poor working conditions in garment factories is at the center of troubled industrial relations in Pakistan.
Workers, many of them women, told Human Rights Watch that they experience physical as well as verbal abuse, sometimes of a sexual nature, as well as forced overtime, denial of paid maternity leave, medical leave, and failure to pay the statutory minimum wages.
Workers also said they faced pressure not to take toilet breaks, and some said they were denied clean drinking water. A worker from a Karachi factory said: I was fired when I had an infection and high fever and took two days off after filling in a leave form. When I came back to work, I was not allowed to enter and was told that I had been terminated. Anyone who becomes ill is fired. That is the general rule. A woman who had an ulcer in her stomach requested a few days off for an operation, but instead of being granted medical leave, she was fired.
Some of the smaller factories sometimes employ children, including as young as 13, to avoid paying minimum wage and overtime. Human Rights Watch spoke to nine children working in garment factories, all of them producing for the domestic market. None of the children had a written contract. The management can avoid giving them an employment contract or other benefits because workers under the age of 18 do not have a national identification card NIC , which is often used as a pretext for denying official wages.
Children sometimes accompany their parents, in most cases the mother, to the factory, and end up working without a formal contract. Wahab, 17, from Karachi who has been working since age 14 said: The managers swear at us, sometimes for no reason. There is no employment contract, no social security cards, and no medical leave. On December 1, , there was a protest at a training institute for garment workers in Lahore which is run by a major Pakistani brand.
Workers said that the company was abusing government incentives to set up such training institutes. Bilal, one of the workers at the training institute said: The company has shown this unit as a training institute in official records.
However, there is no training conducted here. It is a factory. The government inspection teams are complicit.
Home-Based Workers In a conservative society like in Pakistan, women do not always join a formal work force but try to supplement their income by working at home. Many garment factories producing for Pakistani brands use home-based workers on a per order or seasonal basis. Human Rights Watch spoke with 23 women in Lahore and Karachi engaged in seasonal home-based work for garment factories in surrounding areas.
The women whom Human Rights Watch interviewed did not know the name of the contracting factory, let alone the brand for which they were producing. Instead, middlemen employ the women mostly to trim extra thread from stitched garments, embroider, make button holes, or package garments into plastic bags.
One woman, a home-based garment worker for the past 20 years, told Human Rights Watch: The work is given to us by a contractor who is our only point of contact. The payment varies from 2 to 4 rupees per piece [2 to 4 US cents]. Union-Busting Labor rights activists complained of union-busting by many large factories. Factory managers often keep workers on short-term contracts to discourage their participation in union activities, refusing to give them permanent status despite years of employment, dismissing or harassing union representatives to prevent them from forming independent unions, and encouraging pro-management unions.
Factory owners manipulate the labor law to create obstacles for the workers to register trade unions. On the rare occasion that workers in a factory manage to successfully unionize, factory owners and managers have used bribes, and threatened or used actual violence to intimidate and suppress them. For example, on July 6, , unknown gunmen shot and killed prominent labor leader Mustansar Randhawa and his brother in the Faisalabad district of the Punjab.
Randhawa was a leader of the Labor Qaumi Movement LQM , a labor union seeking to organize workers of the textile and power loom sector in the industrial district. He was killed soon after he announced a strike to demand a wage hike. Workers protested his killing, and demanded increased wages.
Police used force against the protesters, several of whom were injured, and arrested more than Subsequently, six leaders of the LQM were arrested and charged under the anti-terrorism law for allegedly attempting to burn down a factory during the strike.
In November , an anti-terrorism court sentenced the six trade union leaders to life imprisonment. In May , they were released on bail. The court finally acquitted them in August after a trial that included more than court appearances. In December , labor rights activists told Human Rights Watch that they were facing threats from security agencies for exposing abuses and campaigning for compliance with labor laws.
According to many union leaders, the factory owners often try and bribe workers to back down from demands. One union leader told Human Rights Watch: We had successfully organized a strike and the factory had come to an almost complete halt. We were demanding that our contracts should be regularized, and our workers be made permanent employees. Workers in some of these factories also have complained of exploitative labor conditions. For example, workers in one factory in Hafizabad district supplying international brands told Human Rights Watch that the factory management has attempted to intimidate and harass workers associated with independent unions.
In response to a letter from Human Rights Watch, the factory said that the management encourages all workers to join unions and has never used illegal means to prevent workers from doing so. The factory management also provided the details of the three registered unions in the factory.
Workers denied these claims, saying that the factory management obstructs attempts to register independent unions and threatens union members with involuntary dismissals. Labor departments in each of the four provinces are tasked with enforcing laws to monitor working conditions and have powers to initiate enforcement action.
In , according to one estimate, there were labor inspectors for over , factories around the country. Of these only 17 were women—a particularly glaring omission given that women form 30 percent of the workforce in the textile sector, according to one estimate by the media house Geo, and face exceptional discrimination at every stage of the employment process, including during hiring, promotion, and dismissal. Factories seldom make reasonable workplace accommodations to address the needs of women workers, particularly of pregnant women.
Most women are employed as contract labor in low-paid and low-skilled roles. Women workers are extremely reluctant to talk about sexual harassment and their other personal problems with a male government official. While Pakistani law falls short of international standards including ILO conventions, rigorous enforcement of existing domestic law would still go a long way in protecting rights of workers.
But all too often labor inspectors and other authorities are overstretched, or complicit, and let abuses persist. Factory owners also need to commit to reform. However, many factory owners carry considerable political clout in Pakistan, which affects the extent to which they are held to account for violating workplace rights, and health and safety provisions.
International and domestic companies that manufacture clothes and other products from Pakistan factories also have a responsibility to ensure that worker safety and rights are maintained throughout their supply chains. Under the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, owners and the companies that download their products also have responsibilities to prevent human rights violations occurring in factories and should take remedial action should abuses occur.
Key Recommendations The Pakistan federal and provincial governments should revise all relevant labor laws to ensure they are in line with key international labor standards. The Pakistan provincial governments should develop and implement a plan to increase the number of government labor inspectors, improve their training, establish clear procedures for independent and credible inspections, and expand the resources at their disposal to conduct effective inspections.
Methodology Human Rights Watch conducted most of the field research for this report in Pakistan from June to December Interviews were conducted in Lahore city and Hafizabad district in Punjab province and Karachi city in Sindh province as these areas have many garment factories.
Given the vast scale of the apparel industry in Pakistan, the scope of the research cannot be comprehensive, but it indicates the trend of poor working conditions and identifies key concerns voiced by workers and labor rights advocates. We interviewed factory workers, including 22 women and 9 children under age 18, the legal minimum age of work in Pakistan.
Of the 24 garment factories examined, workers estimated that 16 employed between and 5, workers. The smallest factory we researched employed about 70 workers. In addition, we also interviewed 23 women who were home-based garment workers.
Among those interviewed there were 37 workers from 17 factories involved in efforts to form trade unions. Of the 24 factories, 13 produced for both domestic and international apparel brands and 11 produced only for domestically owned brands.
This report does not focus on any one brand. Without publicly disclosed supplier factory information that is regularly updated, the onus is on workers to accurately collect and provide label information, further delaying or thwarting their access to remedies.
All worker interviews were conducted in person in Urdu or Punjabi, with some follow-up interviews conducted by telephone. The interviews took place after their factory workday, during the lunch hour, or on their day off.
Workers in the Pakistan garment industry fear losing their jobs if they publicly complain about poor working conditions and violations of labor rights. As this report shows, some workers also face the threat of serious physical and verbal abuse. For this reason, we have withheld names using pseudonyms. Since we met workers who are still employed by the factories they discuss, we have also chosen not to publish the names of those factories. The exchange rate of the Pakistan rupee against the United States dollar has been approximated to correspond with the rate prevailing at the time of the research at Before each interview we informed the interviewee of its purpose and asked whether they wanted to participate.
No incentives were offered or provided to those we interviewed. Finally, this report does not delve into the challenges posed by auditing for social and labor compliance in the garment industry. Human Rights Watch is engaged in ongoing research on this issue. However, the bulk of the manufacturing takes place in the informal economy, operating in small, unregistered shops, and unmarked buildings.
Many of the individually owned small firms are not registered with the government. Since , provincial legislatures have been tasked solely with developing legislation governing labor laws within their provinces. Similarly, in Punjab, the Punjab Industrial Relations Act, , for example, replaces its respective federal counterparts. Not all legislation applies uniformly to every factory or establishment manufacturing garments.
Their applicability varies according to the number of workers each establishment employs. However, according to a study published by the ILO, 54 percent of workers in the garment, textile, and footwear industry were paid less from than the statutory monthly minimum wage.
An illegal wooden mezzanine floor contributed to the rapid spread of the fire. According to survivors, the management made no immediate efforts to rescue the workers and instead attempted to save their merchandise first. A, an Italian inspection company. The SA is a widely accepted certification standard that measures social performance in key areas to hold organizations accountable in fair treatment of workers across industries and geographical regions.
The Ali Enterprise factory fire was not an isolated incident. On the same day, September 12, , a fire in a footwear factory in Lahore killed 25 workers and injured dozens. The factory was illegally constructed in a residential neighborhood and did not have proper fire and safety mechanisms. Most victims of the Lahore fire were under the age of However, they resumed work after being threatened with termination.
The videos show the owner punching and slapping male and female workers, and beating them with a stick. Countrywide protests in May by workers of Khaadi, a leading Pakistani apparel brand, spotlighted the serious and widespread problems in the garment sector.
As media focus on the standoff increased, more examples of worker rights violations began to surface. However, according to a rights activist, many grievances of the workers remained unaddressed at the time of writing. Pakistani law requires that the workers should be provided a written employment letter explaining the terms and conditions of the service at the time of hiring, promotion and transfer, irrespective of how these workers are classified.
The purpose of making some payments is to claim to international sourcing brands that social security and pension payments are being made.
However, they do not issue social security cards to even those 10 percent, and hence almost no worker has any documentation or proof of social security. Bahauddin Zakaria University, Multan.
IBF Short title, extent, application and commencement 2. Definitions 3. Trade unions and freedom of association 4. Application for registration 5.
Requirements for application 6. Requirements for registration 7.
Disqualification for being an office-bearer of a trade union 8. Registered trade union to maintain register 9. Registration Transfer of office-bearer of trade union during pendency of application for registration Certificate of registration Cancellation of registration Appeal against cancellation Registrar of trade unions Powers and functions of Registrar Incorporation of registered trade union Unfair labour practices on the part of employers. Unfair labour practices on the part of workmen Law of conspiracy limited in application Immunity from civil suit in certain cases Enforceability of agreement Registration of federation of trade unions and confederation Returns Collective bargaining agent Determination of collective bargaining unit Appeals Check off Shop steward to act as link between labour and management Workers management council Inspector Penalty for obstructing inspector Penalty for contravening section 29 Redress of individual grievances Negotiations relating to differences and disputes Conciliator Notice of strike or lock-out Conciliation after notice of strike or lock-out Proceedings before conciliator Strike and lock-out Strike or lock-out in public utility services Application to Labour Court