KARACHI: Not a single deceased employee of the burnt factory at Baldia, Ali Enterprises had appointment letter and thus no one of them was registered with Social Security, Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution and other as such institutes, The News has reliably learnt.
The majority of victims of the worst fire eruption case in industrial areas in Pakistan's history were below the age of 35 years. The factory was setup some 12 years ago at the main road of Hub River and officials concerned of Labour Department could not see extreme labour laws' violation over there. No case was ever registered in some court of law by any government department against this factory which they could have made if some labour inspector had paid the visit of the factory.
The News has got sketchy profile of owner of the factory whose name is reported to be Dr Shahid Bhaila who happened to be in his late forties. He is qualified medical doctor but not practicing medicine anymore due to his business activities.
He is one of the major exporters of garments especially trousers in Pakistan to developed countries and he is the member of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries besides having membership of Readymade Garments Association of Pakistan. The person in question has business family background and was influential enough to keep authorities concerned silent over labour issues.
This is learn that he had to complete consignment order before December for Christmas and he was taking hard labour from his workers to complete the order on time so that he should not bear expenses of by air shipment.
This is learnt that he also had obtained some 'fake certificate' from an audit company that everything was okay in his factory to fulfill developed countries demands.
He had hired the services of around 500 workers and did not bother to register them with any social security institute to get rid of workers' rights in any case.
If his workers were registered with the social security institutes then in case of death incident their family might have been compensated with Rs500,000 from Workers Welfare Fund. The EOBI was supposed to give pension to them if they had been registered with it.
According to some reports some pregnant female workers met with deaths due to fire eruption in the factory. These workers were supposed to enjoy maternity leaves of three months if they had been registered with the government departments concerned.
The deputy general secretary of National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), Nasir Manoor while talking with this correspondent demanded that the chief minister and the governor Sindh should give resign.
He said FIR of murder case under section 302 should be registered against the secretary labour, the labour minister and the minister for industries for criminal negligence on their part in this scenario.
He said due to criminal negligence of Labour Department the factories have become death-traps for the workers.
He said the owner of the factory must have fled from the country so far despite having his name in Exit Control List and he would return only when dust is settled.
He said this is the repercussion of third party contract system that there is no available record of the workers and authorities concerned are taking help of DNA to recognize the victims' bodies.
Mansoor said all victims were skilled workers who were hardly earning Rs8000 per salaries. He said there was only single exist of the factory where the Seth had placed his finished and unfinished merchandise thus making impossible for the innocent workers to come out of this death trap.