Labor Unionization in Pakistan – History & Trends

Main Article Content

Waqar Haider Hashmi Riffat Bawa

Article Details

Notes & Commentaries
Author Biographies

Waqar Haider Hashmi, Fauji Foundation

Waqar Haider Hashmi is a professional trainer and consultant on ISO 9000, Human Resource Management and Quality Management. He has completed productivity fellowship on Total Quality Management from Japan Productivity Center for Socio-Economic Development Tokyo under the auspices of Asian Productivity Center in 1998 and also passed Lead Auditor Course for ISO 9000 from British Standards Institute. Waqar conducts academic courses at Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad, Iqra University, Islamabad & International Islamic University Islamabad . He has conducted training courses at the platforms of Pakistan Institute of Management Karachi, Postal Staff College Islamabad, Custom House Karachi, Heavy Industries Taxila and CBR Tax Division etc.

Riffat Bawa

Born in Mumbai in 1935 to a middle class family, Syed Riffat Hussain, was raised in pre-partition India as a liberal thinking young man. After he passed high school exam in India, his parents migrated to Pakistan in 1963 and settled in Karachi where Riffat completed university studies graduating in economics. From the very childhood Riffat was a different type of boy who was more inclined towards philosophical thinking. He would talk wiser than the boys of his age and hence he was nicknamed as ‘Bawa’ which means wise guy in Urdu. In the popular pro-people movement of late nineteen sixties, Bawa Riffat was more attracted towards the plight of the working class and therefore, joined some labor unions actively in Karachi. In 1970 he founded his own Peoples Labor Front (PLF), a federation of leading labor unions of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. After 1977 military coup there was a major crackdown on labor organizations and PLF was no exception. The labor leaders some how struggled hard to continue their contact with the labor class. Some famous labor leaders succeeded in establishing Pakistan Industrial Labor Education & Research (PILER). Bawa Riffat was made Director Education of PILER in late 80’s. Having served PILER for quarter a century he retired and took up the task of translating some literature & history books regarding labor movement in India & Pakistan.