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   October 2012



Newsletter October 2012

Home based work is a general category of work within the informal or unorganized sector where workers carry out remunerative activities within their homes or in the surroundings areas but not at the premises of an employer. In Pakistan, generally home based women workers, though contributing in the economy at a great extent but they are not aware of their rights and relevant laws.

Most of the domestic women workers in Pakistan are deprived of their basic rights and had to face exploitation in various forms, since they had no platform from where they could raise their voices against injustices. Labour Education Foundation started a series of brief Interviews of these workers for its readers in September Newsletter 2012.

1-  My name is Raheela Jamil and I am 37 years old with three children (2 male and 1 female). My qualification is Metric and my kids are studying in school.  My husband is a rickshaw driver and he does not have enough earning to run household facilities due to intensifying poverty. As my neighbour woman is working as a domestic worker so, considering my domestic situation, she informed me about the work possibilities. Now I am also working in Saeed Park Lahore. I work in 3 homes and my duty is to clean the house and washing of clothes. I receive 1,000 rupees from each house as I work from 11 in morning till 4:30 afternoon. Travelling to these homes cost me Rs. 900 so in that case Rs. 2100 is left with me at the end of the month. I donít have any holiday even on Sundayís but sometimes I take holiday. From this income itís very difficult to run the house but I have no other choice and it is better than asking others for help.

I am Balqees Rani, 69 years of age having one daughter which is married. I am working in 2 houses and earning Rs. 5000 in total at the end of the month. My duties are cleansing, ironing and washing of clothes. My duty timings are from 9 am to 8 pm. The employer gives me lunch during the day but no offer is provided for health problems. I usually take holidays on my own as the owner does not allow even on Sundays. I have no faith in Politics because we will not get anything useful out of it. In the past I supported a political party and voted but afterwards stopped using my vote. The reason for not voting is because every government always gives us Inflation, unemployment etc as a gift. I admire Zulifiqar Ali Bhutto as a leader and his tenure because during his government there was no suicide bombing and load shedding. Presently we are not even aware of our Labour Laws but due to the help of Labor Education Foundation we are getting useful knowledge regarding our laws and rights.

Zubaida another domestic worker, 50 years old having 5 childrenís says, I am working in this field from the last 20 years.  Presently working in Firdous market and Liberty. My work is to wash utensils, cleansing and washing of clothes. In 3 houses I have to work and timings for work are from 9 am to 7pm and I receive Rs. 7,000 from 3 of them.   Due to inflation itís almost impossible to survive from this 7,000 as Rs. 70 is my travelling expenses each day. On Sundays I usually take off from the work. I donít know what our rights are and how to achieve them. I donít have any knowledge regarding Laws because I am not so much educated to understand it and also I donít have time to see informative programmes. We donít have proper sources that we can spend suitable time on learning and I am very much depressed from our conditions. So I want to know through the help of labour Education Foundation that how the change can occurs.


On 3rd September 2012, Pakistan Bhatta Mazdoor Union (PBMU) District Tooba Tek Singh held a meeting at 103 Ibqal Nagar in the presence of Tariq Mehmood (Chairmen National Trade Union Federation Pakistan), PBMU District President Raiz Mustaq and other district members such as Abdul Ghaffor ansari, Baba Talib Hussain, Khadim Masih, Jamil Masih, Yousaf Masih, Peter John and Malik Mohammad Ashraf.

Problems and issues of brick kilns workers were discussed and possible solutions were debated. Members demanded from the related police station to take some serious action against the culprits which have retained Jamil Masih, President Sector Rajhanaís brother and his family, otherwise a strike call will be announced and action will be taken. All fabricated cases against brick kilns workers under the supervision of Commissioner should be finished.

It was also decided that a protest rally will be organized to demand for the implementation of social security cards and present Gazette notification.  Decision was taken to write letters to the Labour Department and other related authorities regarding the problems or brick kiln workers and a pamphlet should be prepared highlighting their political issues and possible solutions.

It was also made clear in the meeting that government had fixed a rate of Rs. 517 per 1,000 bricks but the kiln owners continued to pay them according to their own rates. They demanded the Toba District Coordinator Officer (DCO) to direct the social security department to issue social security cards to the kiln workers.  Union membership will be increased and proper study circles among the workers should be organized to raise awareness about the issues.

Tariq Mehmood said that the Punjab Government has set wage against making 1,000 bricks but now a days due to inflation itís not enough for the brick kilns workers to survive so Rs. 1200 wage should be made available against 1000 bricks. Not paid wages for the past two years should be paid to the workers as well.






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