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Textile workers protest against sackings, anti-labor policies

The industrial workers are being treated as slaves – trade union leaders.

The capitalists are not willing to pay the workers minimum wages fixed by the government.

Sindh Courier

Karachi

A large number of textile and garment workers here Sunday staged protest demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club against sackings of workers and anti-labor policies.

National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) organized the protest demo that was attended by various labor unions and organizations, as well as, the affected workers to condemn the forced retrenchment of workers from textile and garment factories and overall anti-labor policies and growing lawlessness.

Addressing the demo, trade union leaders said that the atrocities being meted out to the workers of textile and garment sector, anti-human behavior to them and growing lawlessness is creating a violent resistance movement. They said that hundreds of thousands of workers of this sector are made salaried slaves. They said that these workers are deprived of their right to make their trade unions. The capitalists are not willing to pay them government-announced minimum wages. He said there are no facilities of health and pension for these workers. Ninety percent of workers in this sector are being exploited through anti-human and illegal contract labor system.

Labor leaders said that workers are being retrenched without any reason. The worst example of this atrocity is the workers of International Textile Limited situated in Korangi. This factory makes products for various brands and entities of North America and European Union. This factory has sacked many workers without any reason and the Labor Department has failed to dole out justice to the affected workers. The international brands were also appealed to help in restoration of the sacked workers but sadly they also failed to get these workers restored.

They said that with the cheap labor of workers the local factory and the international brands are earning huge profits.

Textile-Workers- Karachi-Demo-Sindh Courier-1Owais Jatoi, a labor leader and sacked worker of International Textile Limited told that factories are made virtually prisons for workers. He said that workers are meted out the treatment of slaves. He said that female workers face sexual harassment. He said that retired personnel of security agencies are employed in factories to create fear amongst workers. He said that the workers who raise voice for their rights are disdained through security agencies, unions and mafias.

At the end of the demo, the protesters demanded that all sacked workers, especially those belonging to International Textile Limited Korangi, should be reinstated. Forced overtime in factories, especially in International Textile Limited should be stopped. Work should not be taken on government-announced holidays. Overtime should be paid as per law. Difference in wages on the basis of gender should be stopped. Solid action should be taken on harassment and violent behavior with women workers. Contact labor system in textile and garment sector should be abolished. All workers should be issued appointment letters. Wages should be paid to workers through banks. All workers should be registered with the institutions of social security and pension.

Those spoke included NTUF general secretary Nasir Mansoor, Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF) General Secretary Zehra Khan, Riaz Abbassi from National Trade Union Federation, Saira Feroz from United HB Garment workers union, Qazi Khizer of HRCP, Aqib Hussain from youth group Alternate, comrade Wahid Baloch, Anny and Parveen Bano of HBWWF etc.

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