Karachi: “After nearly five years of intensive advocacy, lobbying and networking by Employers Federation of Pakistan as well as frequent ILO scoping missions to Pakistan, the ILO Better Work Programme has been signed in Islamabad”. This was stated by Majyd Aziz, Former President Employers Federation of Pakistan.
Majyd Aziz, while lauding the BWP agreement, remarked that after his election as President EFP in January 2017, he accorded his top priority in convincing ILO to introduce BWP in Pakistan in order to upscale the export based industries, especially when Disney stopped importing from Pakistan. He added that in his frequent meetings in ILO in Geneva and in Islamabad, he vociferously and strongly campaigned for BWP. Moreover, he communicated with advisors and consultants, who are his colleagues in Transnational Strategy Group in Washington, to lobby with Disney as well as with ILO.
Majyd Aziz further added that he received positive response from Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor to Prime Minister for Commerce, senior officials of Federal Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development and Zahoor Awan, leader of Pakistan Workers Federation. Moreover, he also received plenty of guidance from representatives of Employers Federations of countries that already have BWP.
Majyd Aziz explained that BWP as a partnership between the UN’s International Labor Organization and the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, brings diverse groups together – governments, global brands, factory owners, and unions and workers – to improve working conditions in the garment industry and make the sector more competitive. He added that the BWP approach creates lasting, positive change through assessments, training, advocacy and research that changes policies, attitudes, as well as behavior. By sharing this approach and the results of on-the-ground work, BWP seeks to influence policy makers and decision makers to promote decent work and better business in the garment industry. Industries enrolled in BWP gain a critical mass that is favorable for exports of their products.
Majyd Aziz further elaborated that leading brands and retailers are key partners in realizing workers’ rights and gaining a competitive edge for clothing firms. BWP collaborates with national government bodies to help create effective labor regulation for a sustainable impact. Enterprises are a key partner in efforts to create better conditions for workers in ways that also support business. BWP helps workers realize their rights and enhance their ability to engage in productive dialogue with employers.