HYDERABAD: Labour leaders have urged the Sindh government to take notice of the labour department’s “indifferent attitude” towards 500 workers of a textile mill owned by a former Sindh labour minister. According to them, the mill management is now shifting machinery to Punjab clandestinely.
Addressing a joint press conference at the local press club here on Wednesday, veteran labour leaders Rana Mehmood Ali Khan, Shakeel Ahmed Shaikh and others said that the textile mill in Hyderabad SITE was owned by a former labour minister. The mill, they said, was closed since July 2017 “illegally” and 500 workers were deprived of their four months’ salaries and other dues.
They said that an action committee of the mill formed in 2018 filed complaints in 2018 before the additional director labour of Hyderabad region. Show-cause notices were issued after legal requirements and then a complaint was filed by the labour department against the owner in labour court-VI under Sindh Industrial Relations Act 2015 and warrants were issued against him, they added.
They said the former minister paid a fine of Rs25,000 to the court and conceded that the complaint against him was true.
They added that the court had also ordered payment of dues to factory workers, but still the mill owner did not clear dues or paid salaries to workers, thus committing contempt of court.
They said that under Sindh Terms and Standing Order 2015, the labour department was required to file another complaint before the labour court in case its decision was not implemented and the court was competent to impose a fine on a daily basis.
They said that such a fine would run in millions, but the labour department had not yet filed the second complaint.
They said additional director labour Syed Amjad Ali Shah had been repeatedly approached in this regard, but for inexplicable reasons, he was not willing to file such complaint.
They said that such an attitude was condemnable. Last night generators of the powerhouse worth Rs200 million had been shifted from the mill, and though the additional director was informed in time about shifting of the machinery, no action was taken.
They said that while workers were deprived of their salaries and dues, the machinery of the factory was being shifted to Punjab.
They said that additional director should file the second compliant before the court failing which the action committee would stage a sit-in in the second week of January 2020 outside the labour department office in Nasim Nagar.