Expiry of the Industrial Relations Ordinance 2011

21 March 2012

On 24th February, JTUC-RENGO sent the Prime Minister of Pakistan the document of request titled “Expiry of the Industrial Relations Ordinance 2011”.The document of request is as follows.

24 February 2012

Dear Prime Minister,

Expiry of the Industrial Relations Ordinance 2011

On behalf of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO) affiliated to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), I express serious concern about the expiry of the Industrial Relations Ordinance 2011 on 17th March 2012.

We are aware that, after the 18th amendments to the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, all the four provincial governments enacted Provincial Industrial Relations Acts and a vacuum at the Federal level was filled in by the fixed-term promulgation of the Industrial Relations Ordinance 2011. After laps of its basic period of 120 days, another 120 day-extension was given through a National Assembly Resolution on 17th November, 2011. This Parliamentary extension is now set to expire on 17th March, 2012.

If the Parliament does not act before 17th March 2012 to prevent the expiration of the National Industrial Relations Commission, trade unions at the federal level will once again cease to exist. Pakistan is signatory to both UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and ILO Declaration on Fundamental principles and rights at work 1998. It has also ratified the ILO Conventions No. 87 on Freedom of Association and No. 98 on Right of Collective Bargaining. Article 17 of the Constitution of Pakistan also guarantees the freedom of association.

Treaties and conventions are binding on all ratifying States, non-compliance of which could trigger GSP petitions at the international level and withdrawal of trade and preferential treatment. Therefore, the regulation of relations between employer and workers, at all levels especially at the Federal level, becomes a crucial aspect of facilitating international commerce and trade.

Therefore, I request you to exert your authority to ensure the adoption of this Federal Industrial Relations Act by the Parliament before 17th March, 2012.

Sincerely yours,

Nobuaki Koga