A representative meeting of more than 70 trade union federations, plant level unions, labour bodies from industrial zones, leftist parties, youth, students, women, social organizations, labor rights and human rights organizations, professional organizations, and individuals was held on Saturday, September 22, at Karachi Art Council to discuss the 9/11 factory fire tragedy in Karachi/Lahore and to develop joint action plans to demand justice from the culprits and for workers' rights. Yousuf Masti Khan, of Workers Party Pakistan (WPP), presided over the meeting.
Nasir Mansoor, of the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), coordinated the meeting and briefed the participants about the current situation and the various measures taken by different organizations including the case in the high court, collection of information about the deceased and injured workers, and proposed future actions to cope with the situation.
The representatives stated that the government has been trying to give safe cover-up to the factory owners and sweep the fire tragedy under the carpet through the formation of a partial commission, which lacks the trust of worker-representative bodies. The fact that the government has yet to initiate any compensation process shows that it has no sympathy toward the deceased and injured workers and the plight of their families. The government is failing to respect the law and punish the culprits responsible for the tragedy. Rather the government is dragging on the process in the hopes that the people will forget it. That is why it allowed the main culprit to go escort-free and facilitated the obtaining of preemptive bail, first from Larkana Bench and than from Rawalpindi. This shows the state apparatus' attitude toward the 300 workers who were burned alive in the tragedy.
The worker representatives resolved that only through joint resistance will workers and their allies be able to change the situation in favor of the working class.