Country Rating: 4

  • Systematic violation of rights

  • Workers in countries with the rating of 4 have reported systematic violations. The government and/or companies are engaged in serious efforts to crush the collective voice of workers, putting fundamental rights under continuous threat.

Anti-Union discrimination: The law does not specifically protect workers from anti-union discrimination. The law does not protect workers in export processing zones from anti-union discrimination. Furthermore, section 2-A of the Service Tribunals Act bars workers engaged in autonomous bodies and corporations such as WAPDA, railway, telecommunication, gas, banks, and PASSCO from seeking redress for their grievances in the Labour Courts, Labour Appellate Tribunals and National Industrial Relations Commission in the case of unfair labour practices committed by the employer.

Administrative authorities' power to unilaterally dissolve, suspend or de-register trade union organisations: The registration of a trade union can be cancelled for the following reasons: following a complaint made by the registrar that the trade union has contravened the provisions of the Act or its constitution, or failed to submit its annual returns to the registrar (IRA), or obtained less than 10 per cent (IRA) or 15 per cent (BIRA, KPIRA and PIRA – the latter specifying "during two consecutives referendums") of total votes polled in an election for determination of a collective bargaining agent (sections 11(1)(a), (d), (e) and (f) of the IRA, 12(1)(a) and (b), and 12(3)(d) of the BIRA, KPIRA and PIRA, and 12(1)(a) and (b) of the SIRA); if the statement of expenditure of a union is found incorrect following an audit of the annual returns (section 16(5) of the IRA); if a person who is disqualified under section 18 for having been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more for committing an offence involving moral turpitude under the Pakistan Penal Code is elected to be an officer of a registered trade union (section 11(5) of the IRA); if a person convicted of the offence of embezzlement or misappropriation of funds (BIRA and PIRA), or of contraventions to the Act (KPIRA and SIRA), or heinous offence under the Pakistan Penal Code, is elected to be an officer of a registered trade union (section 12(2) and (7) of the BIRA, KPIRA, PIRA and SIRA). Furthermore, the Commission's decision directing the registrar to cancel the registration of a union cannot be appealed in court (IRA, section 59).

Undermining of the recourse to strike actions or their effectiveness: Under sections 45 of the IRA and KPIRA, 49 of the BIRA, 41 of the PIRA, and 49 of the SIRA, the Government can prohibit a strike related to an industrial dispute "of national importance" (this precision is not in the KPIRA or the PIRA), or in respect of any public utility services, at any time before or after its commencement. According to the schedules of the IRA, KPIRA, PIRA and SIRA setting out the list of public utility services, these include services such as oil production, postal services, railways and airways.

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