Workers and Employers Organizations in Pakistan

Workers rally © ILO

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ILO supports to build the capacity of the employers’ and workers’ organisations on host of issues to promote decent work agenda. It has extended technical assistance to the Employer Organizations (EOs) and Workers Organizations (WOs) in Pakistan including to its core constituents namely Employers Federation of Pakistan (EFP) and Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF). Such support provided to the EOs and WOs helped them influence development and implementation of national policies and programs, social dialogue mechanism and institutions at both federal and provincial level, and to reform labour legislations, processes and institutions with a view to promote decent work agenda in Pakistan.

During the current COVID-19 crisis, ILO timely provided with updated knowledge and information resources on COVID-19 to over 1000 enterprises through EFP, and to a large number of workers through trade union federations such as the PWF for enhancing safety and health, and well-being of the vulnerable workers. Effective and innovative use of social media and creation of online groups of workers and employers helped fast dissemination of critical information on COVID-19. ILO paid special attention to the garments sector in Karachi (Sindh) and mobilized support through the Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) trainers in sensitizing the garments sector workers and employers.

Another area where ILO has supported both the EFP and PWF is to promote health and safety at the workplace. Series of seminars are supported to create better understanding about workplace related OSH issues.

Moreover, ILO through its various interventions has helped raise the profile and visibility of the trade unions in sectors and areas where trade union activity was unknown. The spin off has been that unorganised sectors have started getting organised, couple of cases in point are the Carpet Washer’s union in the province of Punjab, and the Brick Kiln Workers Trade Union.

The employers’ organisation are not only promoting ILO core labour standards and incorporating these into their practices. In addition, employers have contributed financially toward the child labour programmes. Three sector specific employers’ organisations (Soccer Ball, Carpet, and Surgical Sectors) have contributed significant financial resources towards the eliminating of child labour. This modality can be classified as a best practice, as employers agree and contribute towards the eradication of child labour from their respective sectors and set up internal and external monitoring systems.

These interventions have helped in sensitizing employers on the issue of child labour and have motivated them to work on occupational safety and health issues to retain adult workers. These interventions have helped raise the profile of employers and have contributed towards improved social dialogue on these issues and have paved the way for social accountability.

Key resources

  1. Tripartism and social dialogue

    Through their organizations, workers and employers make tripartism and social dialogue a real life experience by applying them in practice.

  2. Bureau for Workers' Activities (ACTRAV)

  3. Bureau for Employers´ Activities (ACT/EMP)