May 1: How Should We ‘Observe’ Labor Day?

Posted on May 1, 2011
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Economy & Development, Society
Total Views: 55181

Adil Najam

Today is May 1. The 125th international Labor Day. Even before anything has actually happened, newspapers and TV anchors are telling us that the ‘nation’ will ‘observe’ the day in a “befitting manner.” Great predictors of the future that our media is, one is at least thankful that they are not promising that we will all ‘celebrate’ the occasion – there is not much to celebrate in the plight of labor in Pakistan. There has never been.

We are told that there will be rallies and processions and speeches and and discussion and renewed pledges. All very good. Thank you. All very useful, I am sure, for those in whose name we will pontificate today.

Maybe, an alternative way to ‘observe’ Labor Day today might be to just observe those who labor around us. On this one day, let us make those who are forever invisible to us, visible.

To observe their labor – in respect, in awe, in shock, and maybe even in shame!

(P.S. The picture above was taken in Karachi yesterday, April 30, 2011).

13 responses to “May 1: How Should We ‘Observe’ Labor Day?”

  1. Jamal says:

    Saba, yes the official minimum wage is Rs. 7000. There was a post on this right here last year on this day: m-wage-raised-to-rs-7000/

  2. Hamid says:

    In a country where animals are more valuable than people, there is a lot of room for improvement. Unless Pakistan develops its scientific and technological base, the value of human capital will remain low, and will be exploited. Not just labor, but an average Pakistani would be “less valuable” in the global context, due to their lower potential to contribute to the global economy. Human brain is one of the most valuable resource for any nation, if it is put to good use. Regretfully, in this country it is wasted and never realizes its true potential. When corruption is rampart and there is no justice, terms such as productivity, merit and competitive advantage have no meaning. I think in the Pakistani context, labor day should be celebrated with a pledge to end labor (including child labor) in Pakistan, and make the best use of human capital, in a manner that realizes its true potential.

  3. Saba says:

    Does Pakistan have an actual minimum wage established. Can anyone please give me information on that?

  4. sidhas says:

    Workers are exploited in Pakistan. I think the Minimum Wage is Rs. 7000. Workers are not even paid this amount. Question is how do you survive when you earn 7000 ruppees. Minimum wage will kill the worker.

    We should ask for living wage.

  5. Mahmood says:

    Best thing you can do is to encourage corporations and business. That is how jobs will be created and things will become better.

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