KARACHI: Speakers while addressing the participants at International Workers Day rally held at Regal Chowk and later ending at Karachi Press Club, organised by the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) on Tuesday, have said that May Day is the flag of revolt against the atrocities of capitalism and will continue to wave until the omniousness of the ‘blood-sucking’ system is over in the world. Capitalism is an anti-human system to its core that on one side has given birth to dark faces of hunger, poverty, unemployment and exploitation, and on the other has created social, political and economical anarchies and wide-spread wars. “Its 600 years’ history is full of malpractices in which it has wringed the basic human norms and rights and has destructed the environment to a dangerous extent. Because of it, the humankind for the first time in the known history has been surviving for its existence. Undoubtedly, the humankind progress lies in the end of capitalism and for that, the workers must organise them politically to bury this system once for all,” said the speakers. The rally was led by NTUF President Rafiq Baloch as a large number of workers from different industries, including home-based working women, attended it. Similar rallies were also held in Gadani, Hub, Hyderabad, Sanghar, Dadu, Thatta, Tando Muhammad Khan and others. NTUF Deputy General Secretary Nasir Mansoor, president Rafiq Baloch, general secretary Ghani Zaman Awan, Sindh President Gul Rahman, provincial general secretary Riaz Abbasi, information secretary Mushtaq Ali Shan, Home Based Women Workers Federation General Secretary Zehra Khan, other office bearers Saira Feroz and Shabnam Azam, Ship Breaking Workers Union Gadani President Bashir Mehmoodani, Ali Enterprises Fire Affectees Association Chairperson Saeeda Khatoon and others addressed the main rally in Karachi. The speakers said that capitalism has deprived billions of humans in the world of their rights and in Pakistan, the situation was even appalling. They said that the country’s estimated six-and-a-half-million workforce was denied of their basic and constitutional rights to unionise and collective bargain. Ninety percent of the industrial units were not implementing on the minimum wage and 84 shift laws. Ninety-five percent of the total workforce was not registered with social security and pension funds because they don’t get appointment letters from their employers. Several factories were having almost zero health and safety facilities. Labour inspection and laws were virtually suspended due to which the factories and other workplaces had become death mills for workers. The Ali Enterprises fire and Gadani oil tanker tragedy are stark reminders of the worsening situation. Along with the employers, the government and its relevant departments are responsible for the mayhems on the workers. Due to the government’s apathy, the employers are free to treat their workers as slaves. Among them, the agriculture workers in rural areas have been through the worst situation. They said that according to the labour laws and Supreme Court’s orders, the contractual system was illegal yet the employers were using it extensively. And it seems that labour laws have become a mockery of themselves. Attempts have been made through privatisation to snatch away the little facilities that workers have in public institutions. It is a sheer conspiracy to hand over the services like transport, power, gas, water, education and health to businesspersons. The speakers said that like in organised sectors, the workers in unorganised or informal sector, especially in the agriculture and home-based industries, have been forced to work in inhumane conditions. For agriculture, fisheries, home-based and construction workers, there are neither set working hours nor enough wages to make both ends meet. Published in Daily Times, May 2nd 2018.