Sunday June 26, 2022

Call for rehiring textile workers, paying them overtime

By Our Correspondent
May 16, 2022

A group of workers on Sunday attended a protest against anti-labour policies and the sacking of workers from the garment and textile industries, demanding that the workers be immediately reinstated and they be paid overtime in accordance with the law. They also called for ending gender-based differences in wages.

Addressing the National Trade Union Federation’s (NTUF) protest outside the Karachi Press Club, the speakers censured the anti-human behaviour and atrocities being committed against the workers of the textile and garment sector in the city.

They pointed out that the textile and garment sector plays the role of the backbone of the national economy and is a major source of earning precious foreign exchange. However, they claimed, hundreds of thousands of workers of this sector are treated as salaried slaves and are kept deprived of their right to form their trade unions.

They said industrialists are unwilling to pay the workers the minimum wages as announced by the government or provide them with the facilities of health and pension. They claimed that 90 per cent of the workers in this sector are being exploited through an anti-human and illegal contractual labour system.

They also demanded that the government take concrete action against the harassment and violent that the female workers are subjected to, and abolish the contractual labour system in the textile and garment sectors.

They further demanded ensuring the issuing of appointment letters to all workers, paying them wages through banks, and registering all workers with the institutions of social security and pension.

The speakers at the protest included the NTUF’s Nasir Mansoor, the Home-Based Women Workers Federation’s Zehra Khan and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s Qazi Khizer.