Attacks on working and living conditions – workers need to organise!

The National Austerity Committee sent a summary to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on January 25th, 2023, to reduce the loss of the national exchequer.

The proposals in the plan included reducing the public sector salaries by 10%.

The National Austerity Committee was established to reduce budget losses and support the government. This development resulted from an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to release a $1.18 billion loan.

Despite these austerity measures, the workers, who are the most brutal hit, are still waiting to improve their living standards. On the other hand, the country’s rulers have been rewarded with great increases. For example, the budget allocation for each parliamentarian has been increased to Rs. 90 billion, and the renovation of houses for judges costs approximately Rs. 1 billion.

The country is currently facing an economic crisis, with inflation and the cost of essential items skyrocketing. The currency is experiencing a historic decline, and gold prices have also increased. Despite all of this, the minimum wage has not been raised, and the salaries of public sector workers have yet to keep pace with inflation. The attack on the right to employment is also becoming severe. Casualisation and outsourcing are on the rise. 

Recent floods have accelerated the degradation of living standards. Continuous rising inflation has been causing real wage cuts for many years. People can no longer afford to feed their families and must make difficult choices between educating their children and caring for elderly family members. Many cannot seek medical treatment and must try to treat their illnesses themselves. 

The only way to combat this situation is for workers to organise and fight against all attacks on their rights and living standards. Mainstream politicians cannot be trusted, but if people stand together and organise in workplaces and communities, they can improve their living and working conditions. 

The Pakistan Trade Union Solidarity campaign supports Pakistani workers in their fight for better living and working conditions. They will connect with international workers and trade union movements for a greater impact and wins.