Bonded labour: Workers demand raises, enforcement of labour laws

A file photo of a brick kiln worker. PHOTO: FILE

A file photo of a brick kiln worker. PHOTO: FILE

FAISALABAD: Hundreds of kiln workers on Wednesday staged a protest demonstration to press their demand for a raise in wages.

Talking to the media, Labour Qaumi Movement (LQM) leader Aslam Meraj said the kiln workers had been protesting for two months but their demands had not been met.

He said the brick kiln owners were exploiting the workers.

“The government has passed labour laws but they have not been enforced… We have requested the law enforcement agencies as well as the government to enforce the laws.”

“The laws say that the workers should get a minimum of Rs640 for 1000 bricks… at present they are only getting Rs300 to Rs350,” he said.

He said workers should be paid fair wages, have health insurance, and get death grants, marriage grants and educational facilities.

Meraj alleged that many workers had been beaten up by brick kiln owners for raising voices for their rights.

He said the Labour Department and the local administration were working to enforce them but “some corrupt government officials were allowing the brick kiln owners to exploit them.”

“We have been protesting for five days but no one from the government has offered to resolve the matter,” he said.

Source: The Express Tribune

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