Pakistan: Labour Leaders killed for forming union in Faisalabad Labour Party Pakistan calls nation wide protests on 8th July

Mustansar Randhawa, a Labour Qaumi Movement leader in Faisalabad was killed today by unknown persons while he was sitting in the office of LQM Sarghoda Road Sector area. He has been receiving death threats from the power looms and textile mill owners for the last few days. His crime was to organise LQM in an area, no one dared to do that earlier. He was also president of National Trade Union Federation Faisalabad.

Labour Qaumi Movement had announced a strike of the textile sector on 6th July in a press conference on 4th July. On 5th July, the administration of Faisalabad called the union leaders for negotiations. LQM demanded wage increase according to the Minimum Wages Board notification, a 17 percent wage increase. The bosses was reluctant to do that. After late night negotiations which went on till 1.30am on 6th July, it was agreed to postpone the strike and bosses agreed to some demands. The negotiations were to start again today when the news came that Mustansar Randhawa (35) is been killed by firing of unknown persons while he was sitting in the office. Two person came on motor cycle and fired at him in the office. He died on the spot. Another member of the union had just left to the next door to fetch water while he was shot at. He escaped luckily.

Mustansar Randhawa was one of the proud participant of a trade union leadership workshop on 19/20 June in Faisalabad. In the picture attached, he is sitting with others on that occasion. The workshop was organised by Labour Education Foundation.

The LQM leadership in consultation with LPP is discussing the future actions in response to this incident. Workers are gathering at Faisalabad hospital where the body is been brought already. Labour Party Pakistan Labour secretary Nasir Mansoor, general secretary Nisar Shah and spokesperson Farooq Tariq has condemned this killing and demanded an immediate arrest of the murderers. They said in a joint statement that the labour movement in Faisalabad can not be silenced by such brutal actions. The workers of the Pakistan will respond by organizing strikes and demonstration to condemn this killing.

Farooq Tariq


Mustansar Randhawa

Munstansar Randhawa


Dear all,

I have already send the sad news of the murder of Mustansar Randhawa this afternoon at the office of Labour Qaumi Movement Faisalabad. Now we heard the other sad news. Naseer Randhawa, the younger brother of Mustansar Randawa who was also injured in the incident died in hospital just now. He was also an active member of LQM.

Against the murder of two labour leaders, the workers of the whole textile industry in Faisalabad have walked out of their jobs and tomorrow, there will be a complete shut down of the industry on the appeal of LQM. The workers will gather in front of district council Faisalabad at 10am in protest.

Farooq Tariq


From Faisalabad

Dear all,

As we entered Faisalabad around 11.45am, the roads from motor way were deserted, a very thin presence were seen on the main Sargodha Road. The workers demonstration had already left from this area to join the main rally. We saw some tires burnt on the main road.

When we arrived in front of district council after walking half a kilometer as road were blocked by police, hundreds of workers were raising slogans and saying that the blood of Mustansar will bring revolution. They chanted slogans like, stop gangsterism, no to violence, down with government and so on. I was told that many thousands workers have been here since morning and now are scattered here and there.

The eight main Bazaars of Faisalabad were completely shut down and traders closed their shops because of fear of workers attack.

Then came the main rally from Sadar, thousands of workers carrying wooden sticks arrived after walking over 20 kilometers.

Then we walked to the main road near Ghanta Ghar. It was very difficult to control the emotions. While speaking to the crowd, Aslam Meraj, LQM secretary and myself appealed to all the workers to lay down their wooden sticks and walk in peace and non violence.

Now we have come back to the police station and police ensured the arrests, now we are heading for funeral,

Farooq tariq


Pictures from workers protest in Faisalabad, July 7, 2010

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Labour Party Pakistan calls nation wide protests on 8th July

Dear all,

Please find enclosed some pictures of todays protest rally in Faisalabad against the killings of Mustansar Rindhawa and his younger brother Naseer Randhawa, the textile workers leaders. Mustansar Rindhawa was president National Trade Union Federation Faisalabad Division and a main leader of Labour Qaumi Movement.

I will write a detail report tomorrow. Just like to say that Faisalabad main Bazaars remained closed for some times. Most of the power looms factories remained closed for the second day. A workers rally from Pansara started this morning by foot and came to Faisalabad after walking over 20 kilometers. Over 5000 were in this rally alone. The roads were deserted. The factories will remain close tomorrow as well.

The motive of the assassination is not yet very clear as 10 men came to kill the two brothers at the office of National trade Union federation and Labour Qaumi Movement, where he was sitting with another worker who had come to seek some help.

The murderers are still at large. A case have been registered and police have been given a 24 hours notice by the leaders of LQM.

Tomorrow on 8th July, Labour Party Pakistan have called a nationwide protest against the killings. The workers gathered after the funeral decided to organize a mass rally in Faisalabad on 8th July on the call of LPP. It will take place in front of Faisalabad Press Club at 5 pm. Similar rallies have been organised in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi and other cities of Pakistan.

comradely,

Farooq Tariq
spokesperson
Labour Party Pakistan
40-Abbot Road Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: 92 42 6315162 Fax: 92 42 6271149


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