Today, most of the Newspapers in Punjab have printed a front page advertisement of the Health department of Government of Punjab. It showed a picture of an elderly women waiting to be treated and wrote, “Do you want to observe the oath of servicing the agonizing humanity or Trade Unionism”.
Trade unionism is been presented as an evil that is opposed to the humanity. This shows the absolute prejudice of the ruling class in Punjab against the workers’ rights and their means of organization. This is an effort of the Punjab government to break the young doctor’s strike. The Muslim League Nawaz has a record of anti workers measures during the last three years. Any union formed during this period has experienced some sort of victimization. The PMLN has not lifted the ban on labour inspection of the factories. The working class in Punjab has been treated with contempt. And now, the doctors are facing the same sort of treatment by an anti worker government that the trade unions are facing for a long time.
What are trade unions?
Trade unions are organizations that represent people at work. Their purpose is to protect and improve people’s pay and conditions of employment. They also campaign for laws and policies which will benefit working people.
Trade unions exist because an individual worker has very little power to influence decisions that are made about his or her job. By joining together with other workers, there is more chance of having a voice and influence.
All sorts of jobs and industries are covered by trade unions. Some unions represent people who do a particular job or work in a specific industry – for example, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), as its name suggests, represents journalists.
All over the world, there are trade unions of the doctors, here in this picture, doctors in Bahrain are protesting. (View downloadable Word file)
The International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions ratified by the Government of Pakistan confer the rights of freedom of association on the employers and workers. The workers and employers form and register their associations and trade unions in accordance with the law.
Labour Party Pakistan condemns this sort of malicious propaganda against the trade unions and is considering taking legal action against the Health Department for presenting trade unions image in negative terms.
The government is doing its best to break the solid strike of the doctors by recruiting new doctors. Labour Party Pakistan appeals to the newly recruited young doctors to join the strike after joining the department.
Please watch a trade union leader in Punjab telling the victimization of trade unions in Punjab during the last three years.