SACW Dispatch | 1 Sept. 00
- South Asia Citizens Web Dispatch
1st September 2000
[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
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
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
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
Fax: 92-051-9224590, 9201835
The Federal Minister
Labour and Manpower
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
The Home Minister
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
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
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.
SINDH SUGAR MILLS TRADE UNIONS FEDERATION
TRADE UNION OFFICE GADHI KHATA, HYDERABAD
Posted below is another letter sent to General Musharaf:
General Pervaiz Musharraf
Chief Executive of Pakistan
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
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 countrys 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 managements 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.
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
General Pervaiz Musharaf
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
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)
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
Dr. Nicola Piper (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Copenhagen)
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