Two years ago on September 11, 2012, a third-degree fire broke out at Ali Enterprises, a garment factory in the industrial area Karachi, in which 259 workers perished alive. It was one of the most devastating fire tragedies of known industrial history. The tragedy sparked a debate, but unfortunately on too small a scale, on one of the most neglected but important issues: workplace safety and working conditions of the working class. But as usual, soon after the tragic inferno, the issue of workers was dumped, forgotten due to other thorny issues confronting our country.
The second anniversary of the “Baldia Factory Fire Tragedy” is the right time to revisit the conditions and situation under which Pakistan's workforce of 60 million is compelled to work.