PESHAWAR: Factory workers in Malakand division have demanded of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to appoint deputy director to the labour directorate in Swat to mitigate their miseries.

Talking to mediapersons here on Sunday, Swat Federation of Labour Malakand Division general secretary Ghani Raziq said that there were about 400 factories of marble, cosmetics, silk, snacks and shoes in the valley, providing livelihood to thousands of workers. But, owing to dysfunctional regional doctorate of labour they were facing serious problems.

Besides, he said the labour colony was under occupation of people other than labourers, while the working folks school refused to enroll children of industrial workers.

Mr Raziq maintained that due to non-availability of relevant officials in Swat, the workers were unable to get their problems resolved as they couldn’t afford travelling all the way to Peshawar in connection with routine work.

Mr Raziq said of the 450 silk industries in different parts of Swat district only 20 were functioning owing to cost on supply of raw material, excessive loadshedding, law and order situation and non-availability of technical staff.

The Swat labour federation’s leader said a labour officer who was recently transferred from Mardan to Swat never took action against factory owners for violating labour laws.

He said that as the labour office for the entire Malakand division was located in Swat, workers from Buner, Chitral, Malakand Agency, Shangla and Dir districts were forced to come there for registration of trade unions.

Mr Raziq said the workers were paid only Rs3,000 to Rs6,000 monthly wages as the government was yet to implement its decision of fixing minimum wage at Rs15,000.

The families of the victims’ workers, he said were also facing problems to get relevant documents to apply for compensation. He added the local administration was bent upon closing some 45 snack factories in Swat where hundreds of workers were earning their livelihood.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2015

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