Heirs of Baldia factory fire victims reject ‘non-transparent’ pact for reparations

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KARACHI: The heirs of the victims of Ali Enterprises Baldia mill fire and representatives of labour organisations expresses superior concerns implicit the pact of International Labour Organisation (ILO) with an security institution regarding compensation wealth fixed by a German marque for the heirs.

They person rejected by terming it ‘non-transparent’ during a property league called astatine the Karachi Press Club present connected Wednesday.

Addressing the property conference, leaders of the Association of Affectees of Baldia Factory Fire, National Trade Union Federation Pakistan, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, Home Based Women Workers Federation, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and SITE Labour Forum including Muhammad Siddique, Hussain Khan, Nasir Mansoor, Karamat Ali, Asad Iqbal Butt, Zehra Khan and Riaz Abbasi said that the ILO took a unilateral determination without taking the existent enactment successful confidence. They said that the interests of labours should beryllium safeguarded astatine each costs.

They said that the wide assemblage gathering of Association of the Affectees of Baldia Factory Fire was held successful Karachi connected Sunday successful which they took immoderate important decisions.

Sadly, the ILO portion violating the woody and contempt repeated demands of the heirs, kept the compensation funds for past 5 years and distributed monthly compensations among the heirs done SESSI. Hence, a large chuck of these funds was spent and the heirs and stakeholders were not informed astir it. The participants of the property league said that the ILO was liable for each this.

Under this woody an oversight advisory committee was formed astatine the Pakistan level to administer these funds and instrumentality attraction of the related issues with practice of the government, labour organisations, heirs and mill owners.

The heirs demanded that arsenic per the deal, the compensation funds should beryllium brought to Pakistan and invested with communal consultation to guarantee life-long assistance of the heirs and affected people. In this regard, the relation of the heirs and labourer organisations successful consultation with noted Pakistani lawyers shared an concern program with the ILO, but the ILO didn’t respond.

The heirs of the 260 martyrs of Baldia mill occurrence and dozens of injured and their section and planetary protagonist labour organisations had, aft a large struggle, inked a woody with the German marque KIK that had agreed to wage a semipermanent compensation of $5.1 million.

The typical of KIK had signed the woody successful 2016 with workers organisations nether ILO, IndustriAll Global and Clean Cloth Campaign and the funds were to beryllium fixed to ILO’s Geneva office.

They said that the ILO didn’t play immoderate relation successful helping the affected people. It ignored the demands of the heirs and stakeholder labour organisations and took unilateral and non-transparent decisions portion besides implementing them.

It was pointed retired that the ILO convened a gathering connected Dec 15 erstwhile a subordinate of the oversight advisory committee and patron of the relation of the affected workers, Saeeda Khatoon was hospitalised for attraction of cancer, different subordinate Nasir Mansoor was overseas and the 3rd subordinate Karamat Ali was ill.

The ILO was requested to postpone the meeting, but each successful vain. It was successful this gathering that the ILO ratified a declaration with an security company, which had already been signed earlier the gathering without consultation with the stakeholders who were not told astir this contract.

The ILO had nary close to motion a woody astir the funds of the heirs without consultation with them successful this non-transparent manner. After this deal, immoderate officials of the ILO Karachi bureau with the assistance of a SESSI worker are harassing the heirs and forcing them to motion immoderate documents typed successful English, which they person trouble speechmaking and understanding. It has created unrest among the heirs of the martyred workers.

They said that aft the planetary statement betwixt the German marque and labour organisations, the Sindh authorities and the Labour Department are the indispensable parties of the declaration and the monthly compensation done SESSI was started done them.

However, the labour section failed to play its owed relation and didn’t instrumentality each the members of the oversight advisory committee into confidence.

It was said that the declaration with the security institution earlier the gathering of the oversight advisory committee and without immoderate consultation is the worst illustration of non-transparency and an onslaught connected the basal and antiauthoritarian close of the heirs. The affected radical demanded that the ILO should put the compensation funds aft consultation with the heirs and stakeholder labour organisations.

They besides asked to summon a gathering of the oversight advisory committee and each documents including that of the woody with the security institution to beryllium shared with its members.

They besides asked the SESSI commissioner to commencement a probe against their worker – Maroof – for forcing the heirs to motion papers and to clasp liable those officers who caused the alteration successful the archetypal compensation funds.

They said that the Compensation Commissioner determine the gratuity cases of the deceased workers and guarantee EOBI pension for the parents of the martyred workers successful the airy of the determination of the Sindh High Court.

Finally, they besides demanded a halt to the selling of the affected factory. They wished for a monument erected determination successful representation of the martyred workers.

Published successful Dawn, January 12th, 2023

Source Dawn