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SACW Dispatch | 1 Sept. 00

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  • Harsh Kapoor
    South Asia Citizens Web Dispatch 1st September 2000 http://www.mnet.fr/aiindex [Important Notice: The SACW dispatches will be interrupted between the period
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2000
      South Asia Citizens Web Dispatch
      1st September 2000
      http://www.mnet.fr/aiindex

      [Important Notice: The SACW dispatches will be interrupted between the
      period September 1- 6, and resume from the 7th September on.]

      #1. Pakistan's Sugar Workers Need Support
      #2. Amsterdam Seminar on Labour in Asia: A Comparative Perspective
      --------------------------------------------

      #1.

      PAKISTAN'S SUGAR WORKERS NEED SUPPORT

      The police along with management touts attacked the striking workers of
      Shah Murad Sugar Mills, Jhok Shareef, Dist. Thatta on August 26, 2000. Ten
      workers were injured in which one got serious injury and got to the
      hospital. The police registered FIR against the office bearers of union
      and other members and refused to lodge a report against the mill
      management.

      The workers of the Shah Murad Sugar mills are protesting against the
      retrenchment of 172 permanent and 475 seasonal workers. The management is
      threatening mill workers and union officers and stopping them from
      participating in the protest campaign.

      According to the General Secretary, Sindh Sugar Mills Trade Unions
      Federation (SSMTUF), Basheer Ahmed, more than 3000 workers have lost their
      jobs in Sugar Industry in Sindh during two years. It includes the
      retrenchment of more than 800 workers in the month of July and August
      2000.

      The Sindh Sugar Mills Trade Unions Federation is organising a protest
      campaign throughout Sindh against the mass retrenchment of sugar workers.
      Unions are holding public meetings, demonstrations, protest camps and also
      hunger strike camps.

      The General Secretary of SSMTUF sent a telegram to the Chief Executive,
      Federal Labour Minister and Home Minister to intervene in the situation and
      requested to issue orders to lodge a complaint against the mill management.



      You are requested to send your strong protest letters to the Chief
      Executive, Federal Labour Minister, Governor of Sindh and mill management
      of Shah Murad Sugar Mills, Jhok Shareef, Distt. Thatta, Sindh-Pakistan


      Following is the telegram from Basheer Ahmed.


      The Chief Executive
      Islamic Republic of Pakistan
      Islamabad
      Fax: 92-051-9224590, 9201835

      The Federal Minister
      Labour and Manpower
      Islamic Republic of Pakistan
      Islamabad
      Fax: 92-051-9224890

      The Home Minister
      Islamic Republic of Pakistan
      Islamabad

      The management of Shah Murad Sugar Mills, Jhok Shareef has terminated 172
      permanent workers and 475 seasonal workers. Due to this retrenchment the
      workers of Shah Murad Sugar Mills are protesting against the action of
      mill management and on August 26, 2000, the newly appointed contractors
      men attacked the permanent workers who were performing their duties. Ten
      workers were injured in which one got serious injury and was admitted in
      the hospital. The police registered an FIR against the office bearers of
      the union and other workers and refused to lodge the FIR against the mill
      management.

      You are requested to intervene and order to register FIR against the mill
      management and also direct the mill management to reinstate all the
      retrenched workers, so that the industrial peace in the sugar industries
      of Sindh could be restored.

      BASHEER AHMED
      SECRETARY GENERAL

      SINDH SUGAR MILLS TRADE UNIONS FEDERATION
      TRADE UNION OFFICE GADHI KHATA, HYDERABAD
      SINDH-PAKISTAN


      Posted below is another letter sent to General Musharaf:

      General Pervaiz Musharraf
      Chief Executive of Pakistan

      Dear Sir,

      I would like to bring it to your notice that the workers belonging to Sugar
      Industries are facing mass retrenchment and the facilities of remaining
      workers have been reduced by the managements and owners in Sindh.

      It is a matter of serious concern and I want to give some related facts:

      That there were zones to supply the sugar cane to the factories till 1986.
      The government cancelled the zone system in 1986 because the sugar Industry
      is a highly profitable industry and in past, governments issued lots of
      licenses on political basis to the political affiliates and their friends.
      In Sindh, the factories increased rapidly up to 31 in few years. It is also
      important to note that our total domestic consumption is 3 million tons /
      year and there are total 77 mills in the country which are capable to
      produce 4.2 million tons /year. It means that we can produce 1.2 million
      tons in excess of our local consumption. And as you know, the rate of
      refined sugar in international market is far less than our local market and
      if the sugar is exported then government has to pay millions of rupees as
      rebate. The government paid it in 1998-99 when 3.6 million tons sugar was
      produced and 0.6 million was exported. The high cost of production is
      because the mill owners purchase the sugar cane at much higher cost than
      the official rate.

      Since last three years the owners began to say that they are facing losses.
      Although the wage bill in the production cost is not more than 8% but
      reducing work force is the only way for managements to overcome their
      losses. In last two years more than 3000 workers became jobless including
      800 workers from Fauji Sugar Mills, Tando Mohammad Khan, 300 Workers from
      Fauji Sugar Mills, Khoski, 200 workers from Mirpur Khas Sugar Mills, 646
      workers from Shah Murad Sugar Mills and 72 workers from Alnoor Sugar Mills.

      One interesting fact is that in the year 1998-99 Shah Murad Sugar Mills
      earned a profit of Rs. 30 million, Mirpur Khas Sugar Mills earned 10.25
      million and Alnoor Sugar Mills also earned profit according to their
      balance sheets.

      Dadu Sugar and Thatta Sugar mills were commissioned under the Sindh Sugar
      Corporation and due to the process of privatisation Thatta Sugar Mills is
      locked out since last five years. This factory is neither officially closed
      nor the workers are getting their wages. The workers are struggling to run
      the factory and some workers have lost their lives. The workers of Dadu
      Sugar Mills are not getting wages since last 24 months and their protest is
      continuing since many months.

      Sir, Sugar Industry is one of the most important seasonal indigenous
      industries of the country, which contribute a lot to the country’s economy.
      It pays more than 5 billion rupees as excise duty and 8500 million rupees
      as road cess. The industry also employed more than 100,000 persons in the
      mills and about 7 million people are engaged in the production of sugar
      cane. The management’s strategies will create mass unemployment and the
      unrest will affect the Sugar Industry, which will also affect the revenue.

      I would like to request you to take an immediate action and order
      immediately to reinstate the removed workers and also ensure job security
      of workers in sugar industries in Sindh.

      Yours truly,

      Qamar ul Hassan Outreach Officer IUF A/P Pakistan Outreach Office

      (The International Union of Food, Agriculture, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering,
      Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF) is an international trade
      union federation composed of 329 trade unions in 118 countries with an
      affiliated membership of 2.5 millions. It is based in Geneva, Switzerland.)

      [People sending our letters of protest and concern to Pakistani Authorities
      should use the following addresses:

      Federal Minister of Labour
      Umer Asghar Khan
      Fax: 92 51 9224890

      Mr. Zia Mahmood Mirza
      Chairman National Industrial Relation Commission
      Fax: 92 51 9205920

      Chief Executive
      General Pervaiz Musharaf
      Email: ce@...
      ]
      ______

      #2.

      Seminar on Labour in Asia: A Comparative Perspective
      Date: Thursday September 14, 2000 Time: 12:00-17:30 pm.
      Place: IISH, Cruquiusweg 31, 1019 AT Amsterdam

      Provisional Programme

      13:00-13:15 Introduction
      Dr. Ratna Saptari (CLARA, IIAS/IISG), Dr. Mario Rutten (IIAS,
      University of Amsterdam)

      13:15-13:45 Peasant Movements and Labour in India
      Prof. Utsa Patnaik (School of Social Sciences, JNU, Delhi)

      13:45-14:15 Bonded Labour in the Sindh, Pakistan
      Dr. Kristoffel Lieten (University of Amsterdam)

      14:15-14:45 Discussion

      15:00-15:30 Bangladeshi Women to Malaysia <br>
      Mrs. Anja Rudnick, MA (Amsterdam Research Institute for Global
      Issues and Development Studies)

      15:30-16:00 Homeworkers in the Garment Industry in Thailand
      Mrs. Isabelle Vagneron, MA (UniversitÈ d'Auvergne, Clermont)

      16:00-16:30 Japanese Policies on Southeast Asian Female
      Migrants
      Dr. Nicola Piper (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Copenhagen)

      ______________________________
      South Asia Citizens Web Dispatch (SACW) is an
      informal, independent & non-profit citizens wire service
      run by South Asia Citizens Web (http://www.mnet.fr/aiindex)
      since 1996. Dispatch archive from 1998 can be accessed
      by joining the ACT list run by SACW. To subscribe send
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      [Disclaimer : Opinions carried in the dispatches
      are not representative of views of SACW compilers]
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