ISLAMABAD - Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira has said that the present government is the peoples government and Pakistan Peoples Party has always supported the cause of labour rights. In his message on the International Labour Day being marked today, the minister felicitated the labour community saying that this historic day reminded us of the valiant and heroic struggle of the Chicago workers who had laid their lives for the collective rights. We honour their struggle in the past as well as in recent times as they have risked their lives and stood up to powerful forces unwilling to listen to the organized voice of work, he added. The minister said that their sacrifices were great and momentous and they left indelible mark on the history of mankind. This continues to be a source of inspiration for the downtrodden and oppressed workers, he said. This is the day to revisit the struggles of the working class and commemorate its achievements, he said adding that the day was celebrated in commemoration of the martyrs of 1886 in Chicago which paved the way for social and economic achievements of the working class and labour movement. The minister said that the day provided an impetus to the struggle for rights of workers and thus ensured that the iniquitous system of their exploitation will no more exist. The observance of May Day was formally instituted in Pakistan in 1972 soon after the first PPP government came into power, he said. Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the PPP government was in the lead again in promoting the rights of workers and has repealed the Industrial relations Ordinance (2002) that had curbed the union activities and a new law Industrial Relations Act, 2008 had been promulgated and this new law would be amended/repealed after consultations with all the stake holders by April 2010. He said that minimum wages for unskilled workers have been raised from Rs 4600 to Rs 6000 and Employees Old Age Benefits Act, has been amended. Now it is applicable to any industry or establishment employing five or more persons and by this, it has increased the scope of law. Now more workers can benefit from the mandatory social security system especially in the wake of financial and economic crises when more and more people are losing jobs, he said. APP adds: Pakistan Television (PTV) would broadcast live marathon transmission on International Labour Day (today) and has prepared special programmes to mark the day in a befitting manner. The special transmission titled Yeh Hath Salamat Hain Jab Tak would start from 11.00 a.m till midnight from PTV-Home Centre Islamabad. Farkhanda Shaheen is the Executive Producer while Farooq Haider is Producer of the live transmission. The anchor persons are Hamoon Rasheed and Irum Gilani while scriptwriter is Shamim Ikram. During the daylong transmission, representatives of labour organisations and personalities from different institutions would highlight the importance of the Day. The regional stations of PTV have also arranged special programmes to mark the Day including Mushaira, Talk and Musical shows and special play called May Ka Pehla Din. Interaction would also be the part of this transmission through SMS and live-in-calls.