NAUNDERO: Pakistan People’s Party-Shaheed Bhutto (PPP-SB) in association with Mazdoor Ittehad took out a rally here on Sunday against Naundero Sugar Mills administration and its owners for their alleged highhandedness committed with labourers working in the mill.
The rally started from PPP-SB office and culminated at Naundero Sugar Mills, where participants held a protest and sit-i. The rally was led by PPP-SB Larkana District President Ghulam Hyder Narejo and Mazdoor Ittehad President Sahab Khan Shaikh.
The protest was taken out against Naundero Sugar Mill administration and its owners for their alleged highhandedness and atrocities committed by them over the labourers working in the Mills. The protesters were holding banners, party flags and playcards in their hands and chanting slogans against the owners of the mill.
While addressing the participants, Narejo said that the sugar mill was gifted by China to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in early 70s, which is spread over 101 acres of precious land. He said that previously, labourers working in the mill were doing 8-hour-duty but ever since, the present owner had purchased it from PIDC, the labourers have been forced to perform duties for 12 hours which is against the labour laws.
He said that each labourer was being paid Rs 6000 to Rs 8000 per month instead of government’s policy of Rs 12000 as minimum wages. He said that since last two years, growers of sugarcane have also not been paid their dues which was great highhandedness of the mills management.
He said that the mill owner had become labour-enemy. Mazdoor Ittehad’s Shahab Khan Shaikh said that 43 labourers have so far been rendered unemployed by the current mill administration which should be condemned because of the fact that PPP’s established policy was not to render anyone jobless in this poverty era.
He said that growers were also suffering because a mafia was working inside the mills which interfered when payments were made to the growers and sugarcane was purchased from them in connivance with the mills management.
He said that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari recently announced that PPP would make the labour class the owner but here labourers were being shunted out without any reason and paid low in their own government. They demanded fixing sugarcane price at Rs 220 per 40 kg, payment of monthly emoluments as per announcement of the government and three shifts each of 8-hour as per established policy.
They further demanded running of mill immediately, spending of deducted sugar cess amount over the constructions of roads, end of out zone system, subsidized rates during procurement of pesticides, seeds and fertilizer. They said that growers and labourers must also be paid premium and bonus to overcome their problems. They warned that if their demands are not met, they will again come out on roads. The sit-in continued for hours. Police and security guards of the mill remained alert by closing the main gate during the protest.
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