LAHORE: Adopting two out of 12 amendments proposed by the opposition, the Punjab Assembly passed the Punjab Industrial Relations Bill 2010 on Wednesday, with the opposition withdrawing all other amendments to give a relaxation to the government, but did not endorse the bill on the whole.
The Punjab government had initially promulgated the Industrial Relations Ordinance on June 13 as all labour matters were a federal subject before the passage of the 18th Amendment. After the passage of the 18th Amendment, all labour issues were devolved to provinces. As the ordinance was promulgated by the Punjab government, and it could not be re-promulgated, it was necessary to get the node of the provincial assembly in this regard.
The bill was moved by Law Minister Rana Sanaullah from the treasury benches, who told the House that the standing committee of the Punjab Assembly had consulted and taken into confidence all stakeholders, including employers, workers and legal experts on the matter. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), as a coalition partner of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), supported the labour laws passed by the assembly with a majority. On the other hand, the opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), opposed the bill and did not endorse any of its clauses.
After the passage of the bill, workers of an establishment, employing not less than 50 workers, may establish and join a union or association. However, a worker shall not be entitled to be a member of more than one trade union at any one time and cannot join another trade.