Pakistan: Worker unions take out procession demanding safety of coal miners

Hundreds of workers’ unions in Pakistan took out a procession on Friday after seven people were killed in a coal mine blast in Balochistan and urged the government to ensure the safety of coal miners.
On March 16, around five coal miners and two rescuers died due to suffocation after a methane gas fire broke out in the Pakistan’s Balochistan province.
Hundreds of workers under the aegis of All Pakistan Workers Confederation (APWC) and All Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Workers Union (CBA) from Bakhtiar Labour Hall expressed their condolences over the tragic killings of seven coal miners.
The unions have demanded that Prime Minister Imran Khan and the province Chief Minister should intervene to prevent such tragic accidents in coal mines in future.
The APWC demanded implementation of the Mines Act 1923. The two labour unions called upon PM Khan and Balochistan CM to ensure the welfare of workers by providing social protection and payment of Pakistani Rs 2 million compensation to the families of the coal miners who had died.
The workers also held a conference earlier which was addressed by labour leaders. In a resolution, the workers demanded an increase in the wages of the workers employed in industries and other business by 25 per cent.
The resolution also called for regularisation of jobs of contract and temporary workers and check on the prices of essential items.
Earlier this year, unidentified gunmen stormed a coal mine in Machh town near Quetta, pulling out ethnic Hazaras, members of Pakistan’s Shia minority community, from their homes and opening fire on them.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. Following the deadly attack, protests erupted in the region with the kin of the victims refusing to bury the dead until the government met their demands.

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