By Pakistan Trande Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC)
This year’s May Day has been commemorated in the time of global pandemic. The world has been locked down by the corona crisis. In Pakistan too, there is complete or partial lockdown. To ensure the safety of workers and activists, Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC) restricted its massive public rallies, seminars and activities and organized an “Virtual May Day Rally” through social media outlets as well as symbolic demonstrations and study circles at more than 25 destinations of Pakistan and it’s administrated areas of Kashmir.
Virtual Labour Day Rally
The rally started on 1st May at 10 am and continued till afternoon. Hundreds of workers and students from different institutions and cities including overseas connected themselves to the rally through the internet. The rally was addressed by 45 labour and students leaders from 34 different trade unions and organizations along with representatives of Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC). Activists and leaders of PTUDC and Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation (JKNSF) from England, Spain and Malaysia also spoke to the virtual rally.
Speakers of the virtual rally include Nazar Mengal Central Chairman PTUDC from Quetta, Anwar Panhwar Provincial President PTUDC Sindh from Dadu, Akbar Memon leader Joint Action Committee Pakistan Steel Mills Karachi, Liaquat Sahi President Democratic Union State Bank of Pakistan from Karachi, Sheikh Majeed Chairman Skyways Union PIA from Karachi, Nisar Chandio leader of PTUDC from Hyderabad, Azam Swati leader of NADRA Employees Union from Hyderabad, Sheikh Adnan Ali General Secretary Treat Corporation Employees Union Hyderabad, Parashuram leader of Paramedical Staff Association from Mirpur Khas, Aziz Abbas of Municipal Committee Sadiqabad, Abbas Taj President Painters Union from Sadiqabad, Wahab Din Lashari General Secretary Fauji Fertilizer Corporation (FFC) Workers Union Sadiqabad, Jahanzeb Babar Labor leader Fatima Fertilizer Rahimyar Khan, Habib Chandio District President PWD Rahim Yar Khan, Asghar Dashti leader of Guddu Power Plant Workers Union Kashmore, Hameed Akhtar Chairman Baldia Union Kot Addu, Muhammad Sami students leader BZU Multan, Akram Noori President Power Looms Labor Union Multan, Chaudhry Asif Karim Advocate from Multan, Rabia the representative of Banking sector employees from Multan, Muhammad Tauqeer Convener All Pakistan PTCL Pensioners Association from Sialkot, Dr Sarmad leader of Grand Health Alliance (GHA) Punjab from Lahore, Farooq Tariq General Secretary Farmers Coordinating Committee from Lahore, Malik Fateh Khan Leader WAPDA Hydro Union from Attock, Siraj Khattak District President People’s Labor Bureau Attock, Shahid Anwar leader PTUDC from Wah Cantt, Ramzan Leghari President People’s Unity PIA Rawalpindi, Fauzia Fatima leader Pakistan Secretariat Employees from Rawalpindi, Javed Ahmed President Municipal Committee Employees Union Rawalpindi, Raja Imran leader of Railway Labor Union from Rawalpindi, Sundus Noor from health workers Islamabad, Omer Abdullah Organizer Revolutionary Students Front (RSF) from Islamabad, Malik Shakeel Awan Secretary Information All Pakistan Paramedical Association from Islamabad, and Syed Arif Shah Chairman Utility Store Employees Union from Islamabad.
From Pakistan held Kashmir the speakers were, Abrar Latif Central Chairman Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation (JKNSF) from Rawalakot, Yasir Hanif General Secretary JKNSF from Palandri, Saad Nasir Teachers Union Kashmir from Palandri, Tariq Chughtai from Muzaffarabad, Aftab Ahmed District General Secretary PWD Union Kashmir, Ismatullah Abid District General Secretary YDA Kashmir, Asif Shaheen Central President Health Employees Organization Kashmir, Khalil Babar leader JKNSF from Datot and Bushra Aziz Women Organizer PTUDC Pakistan held Kashmir from Bagh.
The Overseas speakers include Amjad Shahsawar Former President JKNSF and organizer PTUDC Malaysia, Irfan Yaqub Chairman JKNSF United Kingdom Branch from London, and Bilal Rind organizer PTUDC Spain from Barcelona.
The speakers said that the current corona crisis has exposed the brutality of the neoliberal capitalism and the ruling elite, the system has been practically collapsed. The deteriorating state of the health system is evident all over the world. The situation of the working class in Pakistan is also deteriorated due to the lockdown. A relentless series of forced evictions and wage cuts has begun amid the corona crisis. The state is also not taking concrete steps for the betterment of workers. The speakers expressed solidarity with the health workers who are fighting on the forefronts against the coronavirus and demanded the provision of basic Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to all the health sector employees. They also demanded bonuses for all health workers equal to annual wages. They demanded 8 hours working day in all public and private institutions with animum wage equal to 12 grams of gold. They also demanded job security for all employees who are being threatened for eviction due to corona lockdown. The students’ leader demanded fee relaxation and semester break during the crisis and asked for free education for all. The speakers stressed the provision of basic food necessities to the workers during the lockdown. The speakers endorsed PTUDC’s program against corona crisis.
Qamar Uz Zaman Khan, Central General Secretary PTUDC from Sadiqabad, concluded the “virtual rally” and thanked all the speakers and stressed upon the unity of workers internationally against the corona crisis. He said the unity and solidarity among the workers can eradicate epidemics and put an end to the carnage of capitalism. A socialist organization is an essential tool for the workers in the fight in the fight against capitalism and imperialism. Let’s build the forces of Socialism for the emancipation of the working class.
Virtual Labour Day Rally Sum Up by Qamar Uz Zaman
In addition to the virtual May Day rally following are the symbolic demonstrations and seminars held by PTUDC, JKNSF and labour organizations in Pakistan and its administrated areas of Kashmir.
Pakistan Workers Confederation Baluchistan, United Labor Federation Baluchistan, Baluchistan Labor Federation, PTUDC and other labour organizations organized a political congregation to commemorate the May Day and pay tribute to the struggle of Chicago workers. The activity was deliberately set as simple because of coronavirus pandemic. Workers from different organizations gathered at the lawn of Irrigation Office. Stage secretary of the program was Lala Zaman. The program presided by Mama Salam Baloch and chief guest was Muhammad Hassan Baloch, Secretary of Pakistan Workers Federation. The key speakers of the program were Mama Salam Baloch, Muhammad Hassan Baloch, Hameed Khan from PTUDC, Manzoor Baloch from Martine Daw Factory, Ali Bux Jamali from Irrigation Employees Union and others.
Speakers stated that the current coronavirus pandemic has exposed the rulers and their capitalist system. Not only the governments but their system is failed completely. On the other end, hundreds of children are dying of other preventable diseases. Government has lockdown the country but hasn’t provided the things of basic needs to the common people. Millions of families are facing starvation due to unemployment caused by the lockdown but the government is busy in mocking the people and shuffling the cabinets. Moreover, the speakers asserted that after the end of lockdown, the workers’ will react against all the oppression of capitalism. A workers movement will eradicate the capitalism and workers revolution will become a reality.
A protest was organized by Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign in Kalat on the occasion of International Workers Day. Activists of PTUDC participated with full zeal and zest in the protest. Participants hold placards with the slogans against the imperialist and anti-workers policies of IMF and the government. Addressing to the participants, Nazar Mengal, Central Chairman of PTUDC, paid tribute to the martyrs of Chicago and asserted that the struggle of Chicago workers is an example for the workers of the world. Their sacrifices will not go in vain, state Comrade Mengal.
May Day 2020, Kalat
To pay tribute to Chicago martyrs and in remembrance of the struggle and sacrifices, the activists of PTUDC, RSF and JKNSF organized two programs in Karachi. One at Akhtar Colony and other at Gulshan-e-Maymar.
At Akhtar Colony, the speakers of the events paid salutation to the struggle and sacrifices of the Chicago martyrs, and also pledged to carry forward their mission to meet the challenges faced by global working class. Our goal is to end the barbaric capitalism and build socialism, they said. Zakaullah Rao, Zahid Arif and Haseeb Ahsan were among the speakers, while addressing the gathering they demanded the government to provide basic ration to the workers during the lockdown caused by COVID-19 and to accept the demands of the health workers and immediately increase the health budget.
Another meeting was held at Gulshan-e-Maymar which was attended by workers and students of different institutions. Rustam Jamali, Riaz, Dr Haseeb Khan, Zaheer Saifi and Fayaaz Chandio spoke to the participants. The speakers shed light and paid tribute to the struggle of Chicago workers. At the end of the session a symbolic procession carried out. The participants were holding placards focusing Workers’ International Solidarity and their demands.
A rally was held at Municipal park to pay tribute to the Chicago martyrs. Leaders and representatives of different labour organizations and trade unions attended the rally following the safety precautions against COVID-19 pandemic. The rally was addressed by Imran zaonr, Raheel Zaonr district organizer Revolutionary Students Front (RSF) Dadu, Moryal Panwhar of Highways Union, Abbas Vighio of Auto Rickshaw Union and leader of PTUDC, Hanif Misrani.
The speakers paid tribute to the struggle of Chicago workers. They emphasized that the working class is severely affected by lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic, they demanded the government to take practical measures for the provision of adequate ration to the workers, waiving off the fee of all students and immediately waive the utility bills of all workers.
On the occasion of May Day, PTUDC organised a ceremony in Sehwan, in which speakers talked about the importance of international labour day, the crisis of capitalism and plight of workers today, contractual system, forced dismissals, cuts in salaries and ban on unionization. The speakers discussed in detail the problems faced by the workers in pandemic, in all the necessary sectors including health workers and their solutions.
K. N. Shah
PTUDC and Unemployed Youth Movement (BNT) organised a program at Khairpur Nathan Shah, Sindh to pay tribute the struggle of Chicago workers. Ijaz Bhagio of PTUDC and Shoail Chandio of BNT spoke at the event. They also expressed solidarity with health workers who are fighting coronavirus.
Comrades of PTUDC and activists of labour organisation organized a demonstration in front of Mirpur Bathoro press club to commemorate May Day. PTUDC District Sajawal leader Sikandar spoke to the agitators and paid tribute to the struggle of Chicago martyrs.
In relevance of International workers day, a ceremony was held by PTUDC in Bhan Syaedabad, Sindh. In which workers and students representatives participated. The discussion led by Anwar Panhwar, president of PTUDC Sindh province. They paid tribute to the struggle of Chicago workers. The ceremony ended with workers Internationale.
On the International Workers’ Day, a symbolic protest rally was organised by PTUDC and District Workers Action Committee Rahim Yar Khan in front of press club. It was attended by several trade union representatives including Ali Malik, Imran Arshad, Nadeem Malik, Rabbani Baloch, Naeem Mahandra, M.D Ganga, Nazir Larr Advocate, Umair Khan Dahar, Umair Bhatti, Sajjad Shah Advocate and others. They paid tribute to the martyrs of Chicago and took a solemn oath to stand against all forms of exploitation and oppression and continue the struggle till a Socialist Revolution.
PTUDC, RSF and Berozgar Nojawaan Tehreek (BNT) has organized a political program to commemorate May Day in Jampur. Comrades and activists from Jampur, Kotla Mughlaan, Talai, Muhammad Pur and Fazal Pur participated in this program. Raul Lound, Shehryar Zoaq, Qari Bilal, Abdul Kareem Mohsin, Asif Gashkori, Fakhar Awan, Asad Ameen Gopang, Ammar Ajmal, Suqrat Lound, Basit Somroo, Tayyab Rafique, Hatim Lound and Zafar Ahmadani where among the speakers. The program began with the poetry of Abdul Mohsin Kareem. Speakers asserted that the coronavirus pandemic and other diseases which have created a state of health emergency are the results of capitalists’ thrust for profit. They also highlighted the background of the current crisis. The supporters of capitalism are trying to hide behind the coronavirus crisis. The lockdown has sparked the number of unemployed and poor. On the other side, capitalists are busy in making huge profits. Workers will face more severe economic and political attacks from their governments. The workers will become a wall to protect the masses from the capitalist system. Workers will soon be united to overthrow the inhuman capitalism.
At the end of the program, a resolution of demands was presented. All health workers must get PPEs and other preventive stuff. Private health sector must be nationalized. Health budget should be increased to 20 percent. Stop privatization of health and educational institutes. Stop paying national and international debts. All the daily-wage workers must be paid a monthly stipend equals to the minimum wage during the lockdown. No sector should be allowed to lay off workers. The debt must be written-off of the small scale farmers. Farmers must be given debt services without any interest. End capitalism.
A seminar was organised by the PTUDC and Workers Action Committee Kot Addu in which representatives of PTUDC including Nadeem Pasha, Ali Akbar, Amir Lateef and Hameed Akhtar addressed the participants. The participants expressed solidarity with health workers combating coronavirus on the frontlines. They took the oath to continue their struggle until the Socialist Revolution. Participants also watched a biopic of Karl Marx “The Young Marx”, and later had a discussion over it.
On the International Workers’ Day, a study circle was organised by PTUDC in Faisalabad. The agenda was “May Day and Corona Crisis in Pakistan”. Ali Turab shed light on the history of May Day, then Sharjeel Moosa explained the problems working class is facing these days. Arslan explained how bogus and utterly futile the lockdown measures have been taken to contain corona crisis. Dr Umer Rasheed explained the causes of the spread of this virus and its effects on the working class and the global economy. It was also highlighted that only a Socialist Revolution and workers’ planned economy can rescue the world from such pandemics and the impending economic crisis.
On May Day, a symbolic protest rally was organised by the PTUDC to pay tribute to the martyrs of Chicago, which was attended by students and workers. Protestors raised slogans capitalism and for a Socialist Revolution during the rally. The rally was addressed by Nasir Butt of PTUDC, Ayaz Tipu of RSF, Ansar Baghi and others, the participants vowed to continue their struggle until the Socialist victory.
Railways Labour Union commemorated May Day at Engine Shed Lahore. Leader of Labour Union, Central President Muhammad Sarfraz Ahmad, General Secretary Anayat Ali Gujjar, Rana Tariq, Muhammad Imran, and Muhammad Asim spoke at the event. They paid tribute to Chicago martyrs and vowed to carry forward their mission for the betterment in the lives of the working class. They demanded a 100 per cent increase in the wages of workers in the coming fiscal budget.
Pakistan Trade union Defence Campaign (PTUDC) and Revolutionary Students Front (RSF) organized a program at Hassan Abdal to commemorate the International Workers’ Day. Students and workers from different institutes participated in the program. Saqib Sohail of PTUDC performed the duties of stage secretary while District President Peoples Labour Bureau Attock Siraj Gul Khatak and leader PTUDC Shahid Anwar spoke to the audience. They paid tribute to the martyrs of Chicago and shed light of the problems faced by workers today.
On the occasion of the International labour day, a seminar was organised by PTUDC in Gwalerai, Swat. The seminar was chaired by Rafat Ali while addressed by Khair Ullah, Bacha Zada, Khurshed Ali, Rashid Shelmani and Abdul Malik. The speakers said that centuries had passed of the struggle of Chicago workers but still workers are living in harsh conditions. They concluded that the struggle of workers could only reach its destination by overthrowing capitalism and establishing a socialist economic structure.
PTUDC and PWD Labor Union organised a program on the occasion of labour day in Malakand. Representatives from different labour organizations and trade unions participated in the program. The program was addressed by the Vice President PTUDC Ghufran Ahad, Provincial President of PWD Labor Union Gul Zamin and District President Faqeer Shah, Irrigation Employees Association provincial General Secretary Muhammad Nabi and District President Shafi Ullah, All Class four Employees Union President Peer Saeed Khan and Iqbal Zaman. The speakers said, in 1886 the workers in Chicago fought collectively, irrespective of all the ethnic and religious divisions, to minimize the working hours. They have made history and sacrificed their lives for their cause. They further told that capitalism has failed to deliver. At the end of program unanimous declarations were passed in favour of workers demands from different departments.
Pakistan held Kashmir
On the occasion of International Workers’ Day, comrades of JKNSF and PTUDC held seminars and symbolic protests in Pakistan held Kashmir. While paying tribute to the struggle of Chicago martyrs, they pledged to continue their struggle till socialist victory.
They demanded provision of Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) to doctors, nurses, paramedics and all Hospital staff, they also demanded to stop the online classes, students’ fees must be waived, and the provision of ration and financial assistance to the victims of lockdown.
They demanded immediate ceasefire across the Line of Control (LoC) and stoppage of the massacre of Kashmiri peoples across the borders.
Speakers further said the virus has exposed the historical failure of capitalism. The survival of workers, students and youth lies in a classless society, through the struggle on the basis of scientific socialism.
A symbolic protest, organized by PTUDC and JKNSF in the so-called capital of Pakistan held Kashmir, Muzaffarabad. Which was addressed by former president JKNSF Rashid sheikh and PTUDC and JKNSF leaders including Tariq Chughtai, Awais Ali Raja Naseer, Marwat Rathore and others.
A seminar and symbolic protest was organized in the central secretariat of JKNSF in Rawlakot. Former president JKNSF Bisharat Ali Khan, District Organizer PTUDC Umar Shafi, and other leaders of the PTUDC and JKNSF including Bilal Amir, Altmash Tassadaq, Badar Rafique and others addressed the seminar.
On the occasion of labour day, a symbolic protest was organized by PTUDC and JKNSF in KhaiGala. Central president JKNSF Abrar Latif, senior leader PTUDC Jannat Hussain, Farooq Khan, Wajid Khan, Zahid Iqbal Advocate, Riaz Baloch, Waqas Bashir and others spoke to the protest.
- Ali Sojal
In relevance of May Day, a symbolic protest was organized by PTUDC and JKNSF in Ali Sojal. Former chief organizer JKNSF Tanveer Anwar, Incharge JKNSF publications Shafqat Rahim Dad and others addressed the gathering.
JKNSF organized a symbolic protest on the occasion of International Workers Day in Hajeera. The protest was addressed by deputy secretary finance JKNSF Arslan Shani, Usama, Usman Aziz and others.
- Senhsa Kotli
A protest, on the occasion of May Day, was organized under the banners of PTUDC and JKNSF. Yasir and others addressed the protest.
PTUDC and JKNSF jointly organized a program on the occasion of labour day where the leader of PTUDC Kashmir Abdul Wahid, Saeed Jamal Nasir and others addressed the program.
Comrades of JKNSF and PTUDC organized a program in Shokatabad Market to commemorate International Workers’ Day. The program was addressed by Former Senior Vice President JKNSF Khalil Babar, Zulfiqar Shabir, Adil Bashir and Asad Anwar.
Indian held Kashmir
A symbolic May Day commemoration was organized by Comrade Yousuf Tarigami, leader of Communist Party of India and four-time MLA from Kulgam, Indian held Kashmir, in Srinagar Vally. He paid tribute to the Chicago martyrs and condemned the brutal policies of the Modi regime and expressed solidarity with health sector employees and demanded provision of PPEs to all health workers. He condemned the state brutality in Kashmir. He raised slogans for the unity of the working class around the globe and vowed to carry forward the struggle till Socialist Victory.