Tuesday January 18, 2022

Private security companies underpaying employees

January 03, 2022

PESHAWAR: The KP government has set minimum wage but a majority of the sectors are paying far below amount to their workers. Among the low-paid workers are the guards of the private security companies who receive salaries far below the government set minimum wage.

An employee of the private security company, Jehanzeb, told this scribe that he was paid Rs12,000 monthly salary.

He was not getting his salary on time even despite being underpaid. “My employer has withheld my one month salary but even worse I am not getting salary on a fixed date,” he added. He said that the security guards in most of the companies were performing duties for around 12 hours a day.

Jehanzeb said he had to support his family and the family of his paralyzed brother with his meagre salary. These workers are not paid when they fall ill and could not go to work.

Jehanzeb said that he had dengue and could not go to work for two months.

“I bartered my cellphone with the grocery store in our locality to get food items for my family,” he said. An auto-rickshaw driver Israr Khan, 35, said that had a BSc degree and had taught at a private school for more than 10 years.

However, he said he quit his job because he was getting Rs14,000. Israr Khan said that the school management would not pay him full salary during summer vacations.

He said that he left his job six months back and purchased an auto-rickshaw with the money borrowed from friends and relatives to make both ends meet.

“Unfortunately, I am still struggling,” he said, adding that initially he would make around Rs 1,500 a day but with the CNG crisis his earning had dropped to below Rs 1,000 a day.

He said that the government had fixed the minimum wage for eight hours of work in 26 days of a month.

However, he added, that workers were performing duties for more hours daily.

Israr Khan said the government lacks any mechanism and the will to ensure that workers get the government fixed salaries. He said that the government had recently increased the minimum wage from Rs17,500 to Rs 21,000 but the workers’ wages are yet to reach Rs17,500 let alone Rs21, 000.