Blog: Pakistan

Second Anniversary of Baldia Factory Fire Tragedy

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.

Baldia Town factory fire victims still without compensation

Despite repeated appeals by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), families and garment workers affected by the fire, and trade unions, the government, judicial commission and concerned authorities are still not paying attention to the demands of the victims’ families.

During a blaze at Ali Enterprises garment factory in Baldia Town, Karachi, on September 11, 2012, 259 workers were burned to death.  The affected families are still waiting for compensation.

Workers’ Rights Movement in Pakistan Gains Momentum: Court Orders Arrest of Ali Enterprises Owners

The proceedings begin. The
District Judge Abdullah Channa is listening to arguments presenting evidence
that the factory gates were closed on
orders of the owners and the general manager after the fire broke out.
 At the very least this amounts to unpardonable criminal negligence. Already at
10am the
proceeding ends, but District Judge Channa withholds his judgment. 

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