FAISALABAD: The Labour Qaumi Movement (LQM) on Tuesday threatened to besiege the office of the DCO and the Chief Minister House if brick kiln workers were not paid their wages before Eid holidays.
LQM chairperson Baba Abdul Lateef Ansari told newsmen that the government had fixed the minimum wage of brick kiln workers at Rs888 per 1,000 bricks. He said a notification regarding the payment of wages from June 20014 had also been issued. Ansari said most workers were not being paid in accordance with the directive.
He said the LQM had complained regarding this to the Labour Department and district authorities to no avail. Ansari said workers had been striving to obtain their rightful wages for over a year but no one from the government and the Labour Department was taking note of their plight. He said LQM officials had met district authorities several times on this account. Ansari said there had been no movement on the front despite the LQM having obtained assurances from the commissioner, the DCO and the CPO.
“The notification is yet to be fully implemented. Owners of brick kilns have been exploiting workers,” he said. He said the government had also issued a notification in 2015 regarding the increase in workers’ minimum wage from Rs888 to Rs962 per 1,000 bricks. Ansari said the notification had also not been completely implemented and the situation had not been ameliorated.
The LQM chairperson said the party had approached DCO Nurul Amin Mengal time and again to have the notifications fully implemented in vain. He said the DCO had paid no heed to their request. Ansari said Saba Sadiq, the DCO’s assistant, had tried to shelve the issue by telling the LQM that a meeting on the implementation of the notifications would be convened after Eid.
“Workers have the right to fair wages. They will be compelled to take direct action if they are deprived of their right,” he said. Ansari said the workers would besiege the office of the DCO on chand raat and the Chief Minister House on Eid if their dues were not cleared before Eid holidays.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2015.
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