PILER mourns Lahore factory staff deaths

KARACHI: The members and staff of Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) on Thursday expressed grief and sorrow over death of 20 workers and injuries to many others due to collapse of an under-construction factory building in Sundar industrial estate near Lahore on Wednesday evening.

In a statement, Karamat Ali, PILER’s Executive Director said lack of essential health and safety facilities at the factories premises and proper labour inspection by provincial labour departments often cause deadly incidents, but the provincial governments have never taken it a serious matter, thus giving the owners of factories free hand to violate the relevant labour laws.

It is reported that after the October 26 massive earthquake in upper parts of the country cracks had developed in the building and the owner was asked by authorities to repair the building but the owner instead decided to build another floor, which caused collapse of the building.

The PILER condemned the attitude of the owner of Rajput Polyester Factory, a plastic bags manufacturing factory for ignoring the warnings causing heavy loss of human lives. The greed and callousness of owners often makes the lives of workers miserable, he added.

He also condemned the provincial government authorities for their negligence in implementation of the building construction code. Absence of labour inspection is causing deadly incidents at the work places all across Pakistan, but the authorities are least concerned.

He regretted that due to late rescue and relief operation, the number of deaths has increased. The managements of industrial areas need to provide equipment and machineries so in case of any emergencies, human lives can be saved.