Thursday December 02, 2021

Rally demands Sindh govt implement home-based workers’ law

October 21, 2021

Marking International Home-Based Workers Day, labour leaders at a rally on Wednesday expressed anger over the non-implementation of the Sindh Home-Based Workers Act 2018 despite its passage by the Sindh government three years ago.

A large number of home-based workers belonging to different sectors took part in the rally organised by the Home-Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) to demand of the Sindh government to immediately start the registration of home-based workers.

Speaking to the rally that marched from Fawara Chowk to the Karachi Press Club, HBWWF leader Zehra Khan said home-based workers through their untiring struggle had successfully got their legal status and identity recognised, which was a historic achievement not only in Pakistan but also in the region. She said that sadly despite the passage of this law, its implementation was negligible.

She said that though in Sindh there was a law about home-based workers, practically the home-based workers of the province were not getting their due rights. Khan said the HBWWF had filled the registration forms of more than 3,000 home-based workers, but the Sindh Labour Department had not completed the process of registering them.

She alleged that the registration process was being lengthened unnecessarily. She said that despite the passage of one year the forms of these home-based workers could not be verified and recorded. She warned that if these delaying tactics were not stopped, the workers would besiege the Sindh Assembly.

The HBWWF leader said the back-breaking price hike coupled with the Covid situation had made the life of the common man miserable, and the families of home-based workers were also badly affected. She said home-based women workers could not make their ends meet despite working for long hours. She said the workers were deprived of minimum wages.

She recalled that in 2019 the Sindh government set a good example for issuing an official notification to include the glass bangles industry in the list of industries covered under the Sindh Minimum Wage Board.

At the end of the rally, the participants demanded of the Sindh government to speed up the process of the registration of home-based workers and issue workers’ cards to them. They asked that the home-based workers should be registered with the social security departments, and in this regard proper legislation should be carried out.

They said that like in the case of the glass bangle industry, the Sindh Minimum Wage Board should also determine the minimum wages of the home-based workers of other sectors. They asked the workers of the glass bangle industry should be given wages as per the notification of 2019.

Saira Feroze, general secretary of the United Home-based Garments Workers Union, National Trade Union Federation General Secretary Nasir Mansoor, Karamat Ali of the National Labour Council and other leaders also spoke.