The country’s existing labor code is beset with discrepancies. Furthermore, since Pakistanis economy is mainly dominated by the informal sector, a vast majority of workers remain outside the ambit of labor laws and social protection. Only 2. 4 per cent of the labor force is unionized and has access to collective bargaining for their wages and working conditions. The objective of this briefing paper is to contribute to the prevalent debate on labor reforms in Pakistan.

It is important to understand the diverse viewpoints on the subject and strive for a consensus based solution. PILLAR hopes that this paper will provide an impetus for public representatives to play a more reactive role in the debate on labor reforms as well as in policy formulation. PILLAR would like to acknowledge the Solidarity Center for their support and the Pakistan Institute for Labor Education and Research – PILE for their assistance in producing the briefing paper.

The author, PILLAR and its team of researchers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this paper and do not accept responsibility for any omission and error, as it is not deliberate. The views expressed in the paper are not necessarily those of PILLAR or of the Solidarity Center. Islamabad June 2005 PROFILE THE AUTHOR PROFILE OF OF THE AUTHOR Ms. Taken Saved is the Senior Research Associate at the Pakistan Institute of Labor Education and Research PILE.

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She holds a Masters degree in Social Policy and Development from the Institute of Development Policy and Management at the University of Manchester, U. K. , as well as a Masters in International Relations from the University of Karachi. She was awarded the British Achieving Scholarship in 2003 and Certificate of Merit for securing First Class Third position in MA from University of Karachi. She has previously worked as a Trends Analyst for the British Labor Party n the U. K. A sub-editor and content writer for the Daily Dawn, and has taught as visiting faculty at the University of Karachi. Ms. Taken Saved has attended several national and international workshops and training courses. Ms. Taken Saved has numerous publications to her name. These include “Poverty in South Asia: Civil Society’s Perspective”, “The Politics of Insurgency and Counter Insurgency in South Asian Security’, and over 100 articles in Daily Dawn and The News on social and political issues. 1 .

Overview Pakistanis population in mid 2004 is estimated at 148. 72 million – 1. 9 per .NET higher than 20031. On the basis of population of 148. 72 million, the total labor force is 2 estimated to be over 45 million. Of this, 67 per cent is rural . The employed labor force is defined as all persons of ten years and above who worked at least one hour during the reference period and were either paid employees or sleepyhead 3. Based on this definition, the total number of employed labor force in 2004 is estimated at 41. 2 million In addition to the OIL (International Labor Organization) convention no. 87, a judgment of the Federal Shari Court made in reference to the Industrial Relations Ordinance Judgment title: PLY 1984 FCC 164. 8 in 1983 also supports the right of association. The Judgment asserts a very positive Islamic view on laws for the welfare of labor and asks the state to step in when the employer fails to fulfill Shari duty of treating the employee as a “brother. It is held that Islam confers wide powers on the state to regulate ownership and enterprise, including the relationship (and terms and conditions) between employer and employee on Millions) Both Sexes All Areas (all ages) Source: Labor Force Survey 2004, peg 18 4 Female 8. 0 (18 45. 23 as compared to 40. 48 million in 2003 . Under the Constitution, labor is regarded as a ‘concurrent subject’, which meaner that it is the responsibility of both the Federal and Provincial Governments.

However, for the sake of uniformity, laws are enacted by the Federal Government, stipulating that Provincial Governments may make rules and regulations of their own according to the conditions prevailing in or for the specific requirements of the 5 Provinces . Only a small percentage of the total workforce is registered with the trade unions. According to the latest available figures, which are or the year 2000, only 1 workers were registered with 7318 trade unions 6, which reflects 2. 4 percent of the workforce. In 2000, the number of Collective Bargaining Agents (CAB) was 1833 and their membership was 305,413 7.

Despite this low percentage of organized labor, the right of association is restricted in the latest Industrial Relations Ordinance – AIR 2000. For instance, right of association was restricted for workers of Employees Old Age Benefit Institution (BOBBIE) and the ban continues on the trade unions of institutions such as Pakistan International Airlines (PIP) and Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (EKES). ND between landowner and tenant. Taken literally, the implications for a minimum wage and other benefits are staggering.