30 May 2018 Ferado

1,400 workers get free check-ups at mega medical camp

Dubai: More than 1,400 low-income workers received health check-ups at the ‘Mega Medical and Wellness Camp’ initiative held at the Dubai Investment Real Estate Labour Camp in Jebel Ali on Friday morning.

The event was organised by Aster Volunteers Programme in partnership with Model Service Society (MSS) on the occasion of World Health Day.

The camp aimed to identify and meet the health and wellness requirements of low-income workers who are often not able to access basic health care facilities, while struggling to make ends meet and provide for their families back home.

Dr Zeba Azad Moopen, director of Special Projects at Aster DM Healthcare, told Correspondent that the event aimed to spread awareness among workers about their physical and mental health, through check-ups, medications, and advice provided by more than 20 doctors and 25 paramedics from Aster.

The workers at the camp were screened by specialists from general medicine, orthopaedics, dentistry, ophthalmology, dermatology, pulmonology and gastroenterology. Post screening, individuals diagnosed with specific health conditions were recommended appropriate treatment path.

Dr Moopen explained that some of the most common complaints among workers were issues related to orthopaedics due to manual labour and heavy lifting, as well as vision difficulties.

During the event, workers were given free spectacles, and prescribed medications according to their needs, through Aster pharmacies.

“Doing an event like this, on such a large scale, brings a lot of awareness to the rest of the public who live comfortable lives that there is this strata of society that exists here and there is so much that we can do for them,” said Dr Moopen.

Inaugurating the camp was Vipul, Consul-General of India in Dubai, and Eisa Al Zarouni, manager of Inspection Department, Dubai, at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

“Now that insurance is compulsory in several emirates in the UAE, workers are getting health checks, but there are a lot of instances where the workers can be helped through these medical camps, as they require good advice and consultation from doctors — and we as the consulate are happy to be a part of the initiative,” said Vipul.

Meanwhile, Dr Azad Moopen, founder, chairman and managing director of Aster DH Healthcare, highlighted the event was an opportunity to invite more volunteers from the public to help out.

“Many of these workers have issues and don’t get the time or opportunity to see a doctor, and since they are all covered under insurance, we are now identifying those who require help beyond what is available here and asking them to come to our clinics so we can provide them with full coverage,” he said.

Dr Moopen also referred to the Aster Van, which travels to various labour accommodation clusters across the country conducting free heath check-ups for
workers as a part of the programme.

Speaking to Correspondent, Arjun K., a worker at the accommodation, said he had been suffering from weak eyesight for more than a year but could not afford to take an eye test or buy glasses.

“This affects me in everything I do, and I am very happy today to get checked by a doctor and to hopefully get a pair of glasses,” he said.

Another worker, Raj M., said he had not had time to worry about his health as he was focused on working and sending money home to his wife and three children.

“Today I will take time to talk to the doctor and see if my health is in good shape. I am very thankful for this event,” he said.

In the spirit of the Year of Zayed, the full-day event offered workers the opportunity to participate in a number of entertainment activities, including live musical performances, and a lucky draw to win exciting and useful prizes.

30 May 2018 Ferado

Wapda employees get one month bonus pay on Eid

Lahore : Over 20,000 Wapda employees have been granted one month bonus pay on the eve of Eidul Fitr after negotiation undertaken by All Pakistan Wapda Hydroelectric Workers Union CBA with Wapda authority.

The decision was taken after a meeting between by Wapda Chairman Lt-Gen (retd) Muzamil Hussain and union representatives. The union representatives assured Wapda authority that the employees would continue to put their utmost efforts to raise productivity of the Wapda and to extend all support and assistance to get completed all development projects well in time.

The union was represented by Khurshid Ahmed General Secretary of the union along with Haji Humayun (Tarbela), Malik Ashraf (Tarbela), Said Sharaf (Warsak), Mushtaq Ahmed (Ghazi Barotha), Abdul Latif Nizamani president of the union while the Authority was represented by Muhammad Ikram Khan Member Finance Wapda, Muhammad Anwar Khan General Manager Finance and Shoaib Taqi General Manager HR Wapda and other officials.

30 May 2018 Ferado

Labour leaders demand Rs30,000 as minimum wage

Karachi: Trade unions’ leaders and labour rights activists on Tuesday urged the provincial governments to announce the minimum wages for unskilled workers as no announcement was made in the budget in regard to the minimum wage.

Addressing a joint press conference, National Labour Council (NLC) Secretary Karamat Ali demanded to fix the minimum wage at Rs30,000 to 31,000 per month, considering the growing living cost and inflation rate.

Last year in July, the federal and provincial governments had fixed minimum wages at Rs15,000 per month.

Tracing the history of the minimum wage fixation, he said in 1969, minimum wages for unskilled workers were fixed at the rate of Rs140 per month, but the experts and economists were of the opinion that it was less or equal to 50 per cent of the actual wages required by workers to maintain a reasonable living.

“We demand that minimum wages be fixed on the scientific grounds and determined according to the rate of inflation and other factors of living a decent life by a worker’s family,” he said adding that every year the minimum wages be fixed according to that formula of indexation.

29 May 2018 Ferado

CITU demands new wage pact, pension

Visakhapatnam: The two-day conference of the Steel Plant Employees’ Union, affiliated to CITU, beginning here on Monday will put forth the demand for new wage agreement, and pension schemes for captive mines of the steel plant, while opposing privatisation.

Announcing this at a media conference here on Sunday, CITU State president and honorary president of the union Ch. Narasinga Rao said that a mega blood donation camp would be organised on June 14 to press for these demands and about 2,000 workers would donate blood on the day.

29 May 2018 Ferado

Draft labour law flown to Geneva

Bangladesh is going to the International Labour Conference in Geneva with the draft copy of the amended labour law to satisfy the international community.

“We have brought in changes to the draft of the labour law as per the recommendations of the international communities like the ILO, the EU and the US to improve labour rights in the country,” said Md Mujibul Haque, state minister for labour and employment.Haque and Law Minister Anisul Huq will attend the annual meeting of the International Labour Organisation that begins today and will continue until June 10. Changes to the labour law were brought in mainly in two areas.Now, association of 20 percent of the workers in a factory is sufficient to form a union instead of 30 percent.
Second, officials of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments would be able to visit and inspect the factories housed inside of the Export Processing Zones.
“Previously this was not possible,” Haque told The Daily Star over phone.
With the current amended labour law that parliament adopted in July 2013 after the Rana Plaza building collapse, it was difficult to collect consent of 30 percent workers of a factory to form a trade union. Since then, only 625 trade unions have been formed in the garment sector, a paltry number.
As a result, the international community, particularly the rights groups, lobbied with the government to lower the threshold to a reasonable level such that unions can be formed easily. “So, we agreed to 20 percent in consultation with the tripartite committee,” Haque said. The committee was formed last year mainly to resolve crisis in the garment sector through consultation.
The prime minister has already consented to the proposed changes to the labour law, the state minister said, adding that the amendment would be passed in parliament either in the upcoming budget session or in the one after that.
Earlier, the expert committee of the ILO in its observation urged the government to ensure that the Bangladesh Labour Act and the Bangladesh Labour Rules are brought into conformity with the provisions of the Convention regarding freedom of association.