Awareness raising seminar on Sindh Industrial Relations Act

On 28th January 2016 a total of 70 representatives of the harris/ peasants and the landless farmers from the Dadu district of Sindh were trained on their right to form trade unions and collectively bargain with their employers/ landlords. This is in line with the 2013 Sindh Industrial Act (SIRA).

Press release | Dadu, Pakistan | 03 February 2016
Dadu (ILO News): After the 18th Constitutional Amendment, the Government of Sindh has enacted Sindh Industrial Relations Act-2013 (SIRA-2013) which, for the first time, has recognized the Agriculture and Fishery workers as industrial workers. The agriculture and fishery workers have thus earned the freedom and the right to associate, form trade unions and collectively bargain with their employers, who are the small, medium and big landlords within the Sindh province.

This was revealed in an awareness raising seminar on “Sindh Industrial Relations Act 2013” organized by National Trade Union Federation, Sindh Department of Labour, International Labour Organization (ILO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and UN-Women in Dadu on Thursday. The seminar unfolded the salient features of the SIRA in an easy language for the peasants and harris who had come to attend the seminar from the various parts of Dadu districts.

Representatives of the worker and employer federations welcomed the legislation and offered their support in creating further awareness about the enacted law and promoting unionization and association in the pursuit of social justice. Mr Nasir Mansoor, Chairman of National Trade Union Federation stressed the need for creating congenial and bilaterally beneficial relations among the harris and the landlords for increasing the productivity and thus the economy. Mr Fasih-ul-Kareem Siddiqui, Secretary General Employers Federation of Pakistan informed that the EFP has already started the process of formation of ‘Agricultural Employer Associations’ under the SIRA-2013. He urged that the provincial government should replicate the process of forming employer associations in other districts of Sindh as well.

Mr Zaheer Arif, Project Officer of ILO expressed hope that SIRA awareness will be expanded by the Department of Labour in the other districts of Sindh so that the labour conditions could be positively impacted. He also requested the relevant institutions to enforce SIRA in its letter and spirit. The right to organize and form employers’ and workers’ organizations is the prerequisite for sound collective bargaining and social dialogue. Article 17-A of the Constitution of Pakistan also extends this right to every citizen, but the social scenario is regrettably controvert, which need to be reverted in the interest of the labourers particularly the agriculture labourers who are mostly women.

The SIRA awareness seminar was jointly arranged by the UN agencies in realization of the fact that despite the lapse of two years after enactment of SIRA, neither the government functionaries nor the harris and communities were aware of it.

This intervention was part of the One-UN Livelihood Restoration Project (LRP), which is funded by the United Nations Trust Fund on Human Security (UNTFHS) and is being implemented by ILO in close collaboration with FAO, UN-Women and the Sindh Government.

For further information please contact:

Zaheer Arif
Project Officer, LRP Project
Tel: +92 333 5178899