KARACHI: Employers’ Federation of Pakistan delegation led by Former President Majyd Aziz and including Humayun Nazir, Director, and Syed Nazar Ali, Secretary General, had a meeting with Sindh Labor Secretary Shariq Ahmed, Commissioner SESSI Salim Raza, and Director General Labor Department Akhtar Ali Qureshi, to discuss the agenda for the tripartite meeting with Sindh Chief Minister Justice (r) Maqbool Baqar.

Majyd Aziz informed the meeting that the economic situation has created major issues for employers and workers and this is resulting in immense survival issues for both social partners. He added that EFP is in full agreement with the government’s decision of government to fix the Minimum Wage as PKR 32,000 despite the fact that most of the employers are hard pressed for financial resources.

“It is evident that factories are closing down or planning to close down or are at the verge of shutting down. The employers are also worried that major retrenchment will take place and this would impact on the earnings of a huge number of workers, especially those working on Minimum Wage. He suggested that the Government must take radical steps to control this alarming situation,” he added.

The EFP delegation assured the meeting that the formal industrial sector is not against Labor Inspection but against the arbitrary steps of many Labor Inspectors. The delegation welcomed OSH inspection and advised the government officials that they should ensure that the OSH Inspectors advise and guide industries and that there should be no penalties imposed for non-compliance.

The EFP delegation strongly demanded that the Employer representation on Boards of Sindh EOBI, SESSI, Minimum Wage, and Workers Welfare Fund should be nominees of EFP since EFP is the constituent of ILO.

Sindh Labor Secretary Shariq Ahmed requested EFP to provide a list of all its members and to use its offices to convince Industrial Town Associations as well as Trade Associations to provide the membership lists too. He added that the Sindh Labor Department will work closely with EFP in all matters related to Industrial Relations and Human Resources. He assured the delegation that the meeting with the Chief Minister would resolve many matters and usher in a close relationship among the three social partners.

Commissioner SESSI Salim Raza requested EFP for assistance in registering more industries in SESSI. He pledged to provide all information regarding the activities and financial accounts to EFP.

Humayun Nazir in his remarks suggested that a new thinking should be developed in the workings of SESSI as well as Labor Inspection.

Syed Nazar Ali, Secretary General EFP, in his remarks presented a detailed review of EFP initiatives such as promoting ILO Better Work Program, ILO Decent Work Program, OSH, Gender Equality, Multinational Enterprise successes, and working closely with the Workers Federations. He advised that the Chief Minister must meet the stakeholders as soon as possible so that issues are discussed and resolved. He also said that foreign private bodies who are interfering in the workings of industries should be discouraged and not shown to vitiate the Industrial environment.