LAHORE: The Pakistan Bhatta Mazdoor Union held a rally on Friday to press the government to enforce minimum wages and take action against kiln owners employing children. The protesters expressed concern over a strike by kiln owners against the Child Labour Act. The protesters, dozens in number, were scheduled to march from Lahore Press Club to Charing Cross but stopped near Aiwan-i-Iqbal to discuss their demands with government representatives. Union general secretary Mehmood Ahmed Butt urged the government to continue its campaign to end child labour at kilns. He said workers did not want their children to work. Their presence at the rally was a proof of that, he said. He said the government should establish schools near brick kilns and provide books for the workers’ children. He said workers should be paid the mandated rate of Rs962 per 1,000 bricks. He told participants of the rally that the advances system (peshgi) had been nullified by the law and that owners were not allowed to offer or collect loans any longer.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 19th, 2016.
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