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Home-based workers hold convention

HYDERABAD: Speakers at the All Sindh Home-based Women Workers Con­ven­­tion held here on Tuesday demanded that the Sindh government fulfil its promise of recognising more than five million homed-based women workers and give them due rights as per the Constitution and labour laws.

Delegations of home-based workers from various districts of Sindh and representatives of labour unions, social institutions and labour-related government departments attended the moot orgainsed by the All Sindh Home-based Women Workers Fede­ra­tion (HBWWF) at the Sindh Museum auditorium.

Presiding over the convention, HBWWF secretary general Zehra Khan said that in the country, the economy had been shifting from formal to non-formal sectors rapidly.

As a result, more than 90 per cent of labour force were deprived of all those basic rights that should have been given to them under the Constitution of the country, labour laws and different international labour conventions and standards.

Presently, there are more than 12 million home-based women workers in the country and of them about five million working in Sindh in different sectors like glass bangle making, footwear, embroidery, traditional clothe making, textiles, garments, dairy farming and agriculture.

She said that for industrial development in the country, it was necessary that all home-based workers should be legally accepted as workers by giving them better wages, relaxing their working hours and giving them basic facilities of social security, pension, education and healthcare.

All Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Worker Union central president Abdul Latif Nizamani said inclusion of women workers, especially the home-based women workers, would revive the dying labour movement in Pakistan. To achieve this target, the worker movement of Pakistan should include the demands of the home-based workers in its agenda so that a bigger and stronger labour movement could be launched in the country.

Home-Based Women Bangle Workers Union general secretary Jameela A. Latif demanded that tripartite labour conferences should be held in all provinces, especially in Sindh, and in such conferences, participation of representative federation of the home-based women workers should be ensured. The cooperatives formed by this federation should be spread throughout whole province.

National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) Pakistan deputy general secretary Nasir Mansoor said the bid to divide the labour movement of Sindh on linguistic and rural-urban basis was a conspiracy. He said this representative moot of labourers rejected the idea of division of Sindh.

The moot also demanded that the Sindh government should immediately announce the provincial policy for the home-based workers. In the labour laws, home-based workers should be recognised by giving them due legal protection and the right of collective bargaining.

The home-based workers should be registered with EOBI, Sindh employees’ social security institution, workers welfare board and government-run social security departments, it demanded. The moot said special training centres should be formed for the home-based women workers and sale centres for their products should be opened in all big shopping centres.