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Pakistan Sugar Workers Federation Calls For Abolition of Contract Labour

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Labourers demand abolition of contract system
Convention decides to launch movement against govt’s anti-labour policies

The News (Pakistan) 8 June 2007

HYDERABAD: A labourers' convention on Wednesday demanded the abolition of contract and daily-wage system in the light of the court decisions and called for withdrawal of the IRO-2002.

The convention was held at the Hyderabad Press Club under the aegis of Pakistan Sugar Mills Workers Federation (PSMWF), Sindh chapter.

PSMWF’s Central General Secretary Basheer Ahmed, Sindh President Abdul Majeed Leghari, Muhammad Ashraf Rajput, Qamoos Gul Khattak of the Muttahida Labour Federation, Rana Mahmood Ali Khan of the National Labour Federation, Abdul Latif Nizamani and others addressed the convention.

They said labourers were the worst-affected section of the country and despite the skyrocketing prices the workers, especially daily-wagers and contract workers, were never given any relief.

They criticised the government for its failure in checking spiraling prices and ensuring implementation of minimum salary, e.g. Rs 4,000. They maintained that on the one hand the government was planning to increase salaries but on the other prices were skyrocketing without any check.

They said the government was incapable of implementing its own policies as industrialists and capitalists were following their own laws and regulations. They decided to launch a comprehensive movement against these anti-labour policies and hegemony of capitalists.

Adopting resolutions at the convention, the labourers called for declaring all contract and daily-wage employees permanent. They demanded reinstatement of all the employees of sugar mills and restoration of facilities for sugar mills workers. They called for allowing union activities in sugar mills.

A resolution called for restoration of transmission of television channels and reinstatement of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. They called for controlling price-hike and poor law and order situation, and raise in labourers' salaries.

© The News

Labour leaders slam contract, daily wage system

Dawn 7 June 2007

HYDERABAD, June 6: Labour leaders on Wednesday criticised the contract and daily wage system, which they said had been declared illegal by the superior judiciary because it deprived the workers of their legal rights.

They said at a workers’ convention organised by the Sindh chapter of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Workers Federation that the contract and daily wage system was not even mentioned in the labour laws but the capitalists were recruiting workers on contract and daily wage basis in flagrant violation of labour laws and the decisions of superior judiciary.

They said that the ever rising inflation had made it almost impossible for the low-paid members of working class to make both ends meet. The industrialists were not even paying the minimum wage of Rs4,000 a month fixed by the government and hired workers for Rs2,000 to Rs2,500 a month on contract and daily wage basis, they said.

They said that the government had completely failed to implement labour laws and demanded that the minimum wage of a worker should be made equal to the price of 10 grams of gold.

The convention adopted several resolutions demanding abolition of contract and daily wage systems, regularisation of services, reinstatement of all the sugar mills workers whose services were terminated and restoration of bonus and other legal benefits.

Another resolution urged the government to direct sugar mills in NWFP to lift sugarcane for crushing and repeal anti workers IRO-2002 and section 27-B of the Banking Ordinance.

A resolution condemned blocking of transmission of some of TV channels and demanded immediate reinstatement of the Chief Justice of Pakistan and establishment of an independent election commission to hold elections in a transparent manner.

The speakers included secretary general of the federation Basheer Ahmed, APTUO President Chacha Moula Bux Khaskheli, secretary general of Muttahida Labour Federation Qamoos Gul Khattak, NLF President Rana Mehmood Ali Khan, Mohammad Zaman Khan and Mohammad Nabi Khan from NWFP and Abdul Hayee Khan of Sindh Mazdoor Federation.

© Dawn