22 January, 2018After the recent tragic deaths of six mine workers in Pakistan, with many more injured, IndustriALL Global Union affiliate the Pakistan Central Mines Labour Federation (PCMLF) staged a protest action in Quetta to demand the government address the problem of poor working conditions and ratify ILO Convention 176 on Safety in Mines as a matter of urgency.
The PCMLF, together with the IndustriALL Pakistan Council (IPC), held a protest rally on 15 January 2018 in Quetta.
On 11 January two workers, Abdul Bari and Muhammad Qaim Jan, lost their lives in Dukki coalfield area, Balochistan province. On the very same day, also in the same province at Sharigh coal mine operated through the state-owned Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation, another miner, Naseeb Ullah, was killed and two of his co-workers seriously injured, due to the mine collapse.
Two days later, on 13 January, three coal miners, Nazar, Gul Hassan and Wali Dad lost their lives and three others were injured at Zardalo (Sharigh mining site) due to exposure to methane gas.
Both PCMLF and IPC reiterated their demands that the Pakistani government urgently ratify the ILO Convention 176 on Safety in Mines. They also called the government to implement, as a matter of extreme urgency, the ILO Code of practice on safety and health in underground coalmines, setting guidelines for addressing specific occupational hazards in underground coalmines.
The protest rally culminated with the unanimous adoption of a resolution demanding immediate efforts to recover dead bodies of coal miners from the mines, the launch of a judicial inquiry, and the rigorous punishment of those whose negligence caused the accidents.
IndustriALL Global Union Assistant General Secretary Kemal Özkan said:
“IndustriALL Global Union sends its deepest condolences to the families of the workers who were killed and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured.
“Obviously further delays in ratification and implementation of the ILO Convention 176 on Safety in Mines are intolerable.
“It is time for the Pakistani government to take serious action as every day of delay costs human lives, the most precious for every nation.”