CHINIOT: : Brick kiln workers held a demonstration in front of the press club on to demand provision of minimum wages and social security. Labour leader of All Pakistan Federation of United Trade Unions(APFUTU) who led the protest, said there were 72 brick kilns in the district which employed about 400 workers.
“The labour department has fixed the minimum wage at Rs1,110 per 1,000 bricks but the Chiniot kilns are paying only Rs850, out of which they deduct Rs20 more,” he lamented.
The kiln owners were directed to make social security cards of at least five workers in each kiln but last year, they made the cards of their relatives, instead of original workers. When pointed out by the workers organisations, the owners cancelled all 175 cards of the workers but did not provide credentials of more workers to social security department for new cards.
On the other hand, District Education Authority chief executive officer Liaqat Ali Nasir said the education department had enrolled about 1,100 children of brick kiln workers in schools while 1,074 Khidmat cards were also issued to them.
Jamshed Cheema, president of Kiln Owners Association, said bricks sale rate was too low and they were unable to pay the fixed wages. However, they had increased the wages from Rs750 to Rs850 per 1,000 bricks.
Deputy Commissioner Ayub Khan Baloch said he had taken notice over the low wages and directed all the kilns to ensure payment of fixed wages to their workers or face music. He also added that Labour department had been directed to ensure payment of the fixed wages to the workers and making of social security cards for them.