Union Leaders Call for Immediate Ban on Asbestos


Leaders of a union campaigning for the rights of workers on February 22 said workers at factories and other workplaces suffered serious accidents routinely in which they got wounded and often lost their lives.

“All this is happening because of non-implementation of the labour laws and deliberate negligence of health and safety standards,” said Rafiq Baloch, president of the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), at a press conference at the union’s office. He said neither employers nor the government had taken sufficient measures to ensure safety of workers.

Nasir Mansoor, deputy secretary general of the NTUF, said the use of asbestos in industries was another grave issue which had put the lives of workers at perpetual risk. “It is used across the country in building construction, pipes, boilers, fireproof products, textile, cement, automobiles and shipbuilding. It is also found in ships that are dismantled in Gadani”, he said.

Bashir Mehmoodani, the president of Gadani Ship Breaking Workers Union, said, “When invisible particles are inhaled they cause lung diseases and cancers. They also damage the food pipe in the body.”


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