Monday November 29, 2021

SHC issues notices on petition against sacking of factory labourers, polio workers

May 29, 2020

The Sindh High Court on Friday issued notice to the Sindh advocate general, the health secretary and others on a petition seeking the rehiring labourers rendered jobless and 4,000 polio workers sacked by the health department during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

Petitioner Syed Iqbal Kazmi submitted in the petition that the Sindh government had issued instructions to the private factory owners to refrain from sacking their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, and asked them to pay salaries to their employers without any deduction.

But several private factory owners had sacked thousands of labourers from their factories, he said, adding that the factory owners also slashed their salaries and did not grant the government announced leaves to them which was a violation of the Sindh Terms of Employment

Act, 2015.

He said the Sindh Employees Social Security Institution (SESSI) had failed to perform its duty during the COVID-19 pandemic for the welfare of the labourers. He said SESSI had also failed to provide details of the registered labourers and to ensure the provision of any financial assistance to them during the pandemic.

He said SESSI-run hospitals and dispensaries had been closed during the pandemic even though Rs522 million had been spent on these hospitals for the upgradation. He said private factories owner and the health department had violated the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Ordinance as thousands of employees, including 4,000 polio workers from 89 union councils of Karachi, had been removed from their jobs without the fulfilment of the legal requirements.

The court was requested to direct the health department and the private factory owners to rehire the sacked employees and polio workers whose services were terminated during the pandemic. The court was also requested to order them to pay the salaries as well as the deducted amounts.

The petitioner requested the court to order SESSI to provide details of the labourers and the employees who were provided with financial relief during the lockdown.