ISLAMABAD Highlighting the workers plight, their right for safer, healthier and better life, speakers at a seminar strongly demanded the effective enforcement of labour laws in securing safer workplaces for workers of the country. Workers registration should be ensured so that they can benefited from social security services like Pakistan Workers Welfare Fund, insurance, old Age benefits, medical and other fringe benefits the speakers discussed at a seminar organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). The speakers included Mr Chaudhry Manzoor, Former MNA and in charge Peoples Labour Bureau, Mr Akram Bunda, General Secretary PTV Workers Union and Deputy General Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF), C R Shamsi, Former Secretary General Pakistan Federal Union of Journalist (PFUJ). Akram Bunda, while citing various provisions of national and international laws on labours, lamented the non-implementation of labour laws. He suggested improvement in organizational behaviour system which include giving proper contract letters to the workers, ensure minimum wages, restoration of labour inspection teams and devising a management framework order on labour. Chaudhry Manzoor accounted various phases of labour struggle like Chicago incident, historic Trade Union Act in 1926, post independence subtraction of labour rights, Pro-labour policies of PPP 70s, suppression of labours in Zia regime, Anti-labour clauses (27 b) introduced by Nawaz Sharif and lately ironical IRO 2002 and Removal from Services Act without any reason by (Retd) Gen Pervez Musharraf. He said three of the four arbitrary laws have been reversed, through rigorous struggle by workers, including Removal from Services Act, IRA-2002 and article 27A, but unfortunately 27-B couldnt be abolished due to lack of political unanimity despite submission of summary in Senate Standing Committee on Finance. Article 27-B bans any union activity from 09 AM to 05:00 PM, virtually paralysing any union activity. He shared some of achievements, recently gained in struggle for workers rights, like raising minimum wage to 7000 rupees, construction of 80,000 homes for workers, issuance of Master Labour Card in collaboration with Nadra, substantial increase in ratio of education, marriage and death grant, medical facilities to workers parents and continuity of benefits even after the death or retirement of the worker. He further supported Bundas demand of ensuring workers registration, as without registration they cant be benefited from social security services as happened in the case of 44 miners from Balochistan who died in mine blast several months ago but couldnt get any compensation due to non registration as a labour. He also demanded actions on legal vacuum created by devolution of labour ministry. C R Shamsi described the ordeal of the journalists and voiced for implementation of various wage board awards still pending to be awarded despite several verdicts by higher judiciary. He showed resentment on media owners for denying justified and due rights of journalists working on meagre salaries with no job security or any fringe benefits. He said that Anti-labour laws are swiftly implemented while legislation ensuring workers rights are shelved for indefinite period of time. Responding to a question he suggested that government advertisements given to the newspapers should be made conditional with implementation of Wage Board Award.