Majority of factories in Sindh go unregistered

KARACHI: Majority of industries and factories in Sindh are violating the Factories Act of 1934 and a large number of them are not registered under this act in which they are legally bound to provide their employees overtime allowance, sick leave, holiday allowance, eight working hours job, minimum wage of Rs13000 to unskilled labour like the watchmen, gatekeepers and security guards and old-age benefits, said National Trade Union Federation’s Deputy General Secretary Nasir Mansoor on Saturday.

After the 18th amendment in the constitution of Pakistan, the provinces are responsible to provide legal rights to labours as per the law but the Sindh government has failed to provide them these rights as well as, to implement the minimum wages in all workplaces during the year 2015, Mansoor said while talking to PPI.

He said Sindh government’s Labour Department has not brought reforms and it has been working under old style. It is still following 50 years old mechanism of rules and regulations. He pointed that they charge only up to Rs2 to 10 rupees for registering a factory; however in other provinces their labour departments have increased this amount which is bring more revenue to their kitty.

He said Pakistan is not following many convention of the International Labour Organization as legal rights are not available to a large number of labourers in the country. He said about 60 percent of factories in Sindh are in Hyderabad and Karachi which are the urban cities of the province where the labours also need transportation allowance, medical allowance and old-age pensions as per the law.

In the financial year-2015-16, Sindh government should include some benefits for affected labours, who lost their hearing and visual senses and sustained other physical damages during work at their workplaces. There is also dire need to build such a mechanism so that the ignored section of the society could be lifted up by proving them social benefits.

There is also need to take stern action against the owners of factories who are not providing appointment letters to labourers and employing them on temporary basis on daily wages basis and the owners of the factories avoiding to register their entities as per the law as they are not ready to provide legal rights to their employees.

The government should safeguard the rights of labours and uplift their morale by giving them due rights at workplace, he added.

An official working in Sindh government’s Labour Department on condition of anonymity that there are only 10 percent of factories and other workplaces genuinely inspected by the inspectors in Sindh while 90 percent of them bypass the procedure and get valid inspect documents for six months.

He said a large number of factories are not registered with the Employee Old-age Benefit Institute and with Labour department. He said they there is also a mafia working in this sector and they do not allow inspecting their factories and shops by the hook or the crook. He said the government’s fine is only Rs250 rupees if any entity is found violating the labour laws which should be increased up to Rs10,000.