KARACHI: National Trade Union Federation Pakistan (NTUF) staged a protest demonstration outside Karachi Press Club on Sunday against Denim Clothing Company for dismissing 4,000 workers on the eve of Eid.
The demonstration was led by Sami Sahir and Himmat Phulpto along with other activists including Nasir Mansoor and Rafiq Baloch of National Trade Union Federation, Zahra Khan of the Home Based Women Workers Federation, Karamat Ali of the National Labor Council, and Denim Clothing Company workers.
Addressing the protest, the leaders said that the Denim Clothing Company has many units where thousands of workers were employed. A unit of the same company located in Korangi Industrial Area was forcing workers to sign resignation papers.
They said that those workers, who did not sign resignation papers were threatened with dire consequences including forced ouster without paying their dues. The leaders said those workers had been working in factory for five to 10 years. Now to avoid paying government announced minimum wage of Rs25,000 and distribution of Eid bounce, the management had started illegal retrenchment, they said.
The leaders said that the management was planning to impose third party contract system (Thakadari) which was against labour laws. The workers added that labor laws in Denim Clothing continued to be violated even though the factory produced merchandise for international fashion brands. They said that the factory did not provide written employment contract to workers, and most of them were deprived of EOBI and social security cover.
A written complaint had been lodged with the Labor Department against the abuse of workers’ fundamental rights. The Labor Department had called the factory management to respond, but the management trampled on the Labor Department’s notice and refused to respond to any inquiries, the leaders said. The participating labor leaders demanded that the sacked workers be reinstated with due benefits.