Karachi, March 11, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) advised all SME units to observe the factory rules and regulations and respect the labour laws and comply all requirements of the factories act.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver advised all SME units to ensure strictly timely payment of minimum wages of Rs12000 per month and overtime as per law. He also advocated best facilities for daily wage earners.
He lamented that workers were hired at less than the minimum wages and because of unemployment the workers themselves accepted less than minimum wages. Many restaurants, shops, offices and factories were paying less than Rs 12000 per month which comes to Rs 400 on daily wages. The concerned departments must check on this and ensure that no worker gets less than the minimum wages.
It is very necessary that the workers get increment according to their skill and experience and output. The employers should also train the workers to enable them earn higher salaries. The training is needed at all the levels the operator, supervisory and managerial level and training is a social responsibility of the employer.
He also urged the government to increase the minimum wage to Rs 13500 per month with old age benefit, insurance and health facilities. It is very difficult to survive on Rs 400 daily wages as a family can barely eat 2 square meals a day and besides food one has to see to education, clothing and medical expenses. The free schools and hospitals are in miserable conditions and the nation cannot claim to be called a welfare state.
Thaver said the SME units must have fire extinguishers, first aid, mask for labourers according to the nature of their task and proper ventilation. No child labour whatsoever under any circumstances to be hired. There should be no compromise in safety arrangements and proper environment.
The factory inspection departments must pay surprise visits to units and refrain from corrupt practices and factory owners must follow the law and related regulations and not get away by paying bribes to inspectors.
He reminded the law agencies that the Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP) plus was granted to Pakistan on the firm commitment to protection of labour rights and promise to improve the working conditions and environment for the labourers and penalization for violations.
Recording an interview to a local television channel on a visit to small industrial area he emphasized that the workers in factories and farms are our backbone and it is because of their hard work that the economy is sustained.
He also advised the inspectors not to harass the owners who are observing all factory laws and facilitating the workers. The SME units who are facing harassment by factory inspectors are advised to approach the ombudsman to seek redress without any hesitation.
For more information, contact:
Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME)
75/1 3rd Commercial Street,
Phase IV, D.H.A., Karachi, Pakistan
Cell: +92-300-8245307, +92-321-8245307