'First-Ever' Labour Academy Launched

'First-Ever' Labour Academy Launched
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) – a German NGO – has launched the first labour academy of the country to increase the efficiency and organisational capabilities of the local labour unions.

FES Pakistan is working with National Industrial Relations Commission (NIRC) and Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC) for long-term academic learning and leadership education for trade unionists and activists.

Regarding the establishment of the academy, the participants were informed that there are due laws in Pakistan but they are not implemented.

During the launching ceremony, Country Director FES, Dr. Neils Hegewich explained that Pakistan Labour Academy (PLA), a flagship project of the organisation, intends to provide comprehensive education and training programs.

Its objective is to contribute to developing a better understanding of the industrial relations and worker participation, as well as labour laws, successful trade relations, promoting social dialogue and ensuring quality work, he added.

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In the first phase, the PLA will organise a 10-day residential short-certificate course for young male and female trade unionists in acquiring knowledge and so they can take an active part in public debate and policy formulation and implementation pertaining to the affairs.

Speaking on the occasion, senior Pakistan People's Party leader, Farhatullah Babar said there is a need to improve labour laws and raise awareness among the workers about their due rights.

Other national and foreign speakers said that participation of women in labour organisations and their social security and health should be the first priority of the government.

Representatives of various labour unions, including the German ambassador to Pakistan, participated in the ceremony to lay the foundation of the institute.

The labourers of the country remain deprived of a minimum wage, despite recent directives to raise their pay. Besides other reasons, this stems from a lack of awareness of rights, requiring their due education.