Sindh Human Rights Commission's Provincial Consultation on Minimum Wage: Determination and Implementation Challenges
Sindh Human Rights Commission successfully organized a Provincial Consultation on Minimum Wage, initiating with an inspirational Welcome Speech by Chairperson Iqbal Ahmed Detho. The event focused on addressing the challenges and implementation of minimum wage, with a strong emphasis on the importance of compliance with international conventions and the Constitution of Pakistan.
The Chairperson announced the launch of comprehensive campaign on minimum wage issues with an objective is to raise awareness and establish a system. In line with the SHRC Act 2011, a dedicated desk will be established to handle complaints related to minimum wages and conduct inspections in accordance with the law.
During the consultation, Mr. Zulfiqar Nizamani, Chairman of the Minimum Wages Board, provided valuable insights into the process of determining minimum wage rates. These rates are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and he also highlighted the government's efforts to ensure their effective implementation.
Ms. Zehra Khan shared a worker's perspective and emphasized the progress made in worker representation within the Minimum Wage Board. Trust deficits between employees and employers have been overcome, and the board has successfully established minimum wage rates based on the CPI. Ms. Khan stressed the need to move beyond a minimum wage towards a living wage. The board has already taken significant steps, such as increasing the minimum wage for home-based workers in the glass bangle industry and publishing it in the Gazette. Strengthening the Sindh Minimum Wage Board remains a key priority.
Mr. Imtiaz Ali Shah, MD of Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWM), shared the proactive steps taken by SSWM to implement the minimum wage and ensure the necessary protections for health workers. SSWM has been approached by organizations with court complaints regarding the implementation of minimum wage and provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) to health workers. Committed to compliance with guidelines and government notifications, SSWM has initiated a complaint monitoring system (CRM) to address issues related to minimum wage, PPE, and pollution. Improving the lives of health workers is at the forefront of their mission.
During an open discussion moderated by Ms. Farhat Parveen, Executive Director of Now Communities, participants shared valuable insights on the status of worker's wages in various employment sectors in Sindh.
Additionally, Mr. Reejo Mal, Law Officer, Labour Department, Sindh, shared the government's efforts towards ensuring the payment of minimum wages to employees working in industrial and commercial establishments in Sindh. He actively responded to numerous questions during his speech.
Mr. Ghazanfar Ali Qadri, Additional Secretary Law, briefed attendees on laws related to workers, laborers, and employers, highlighting the existing disparities and the need for a comprehensive strategy to implement these laws in corporate, industrial, and commercial sectors.
Mr. Karamat Ali, from the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), delivered a thought-provoking speech on the topic of "Ensuring Payment of Minimum Wages to Workers, especially those working in vulnerable occupations: Challenges and Way Forward."
At the end of the consultation Mr. Javed Sibghatullah Mahar, Secretary Human Rights Department; he requested the government department representatives present at the consultation to resolve issues related to wages, workers, employee and employers.
The consultation concluded with an engaging question-and-answer session where participants actively discussed various issues related to minimum wage, as well as the rights of sanitation workers, working hours in the corporate and textile sectors, and more.
Ms. Kulsoom Chandio MPA, and member SHRC thanks the participants, on behalf of the Commission.
Chairperson Mr. Iqbal Ahmed Detho, concluded the consultation with vote of thanks to participants and Guests. Chairmen SHRC, share that Labor Department, Law Department and Sindh Human Rights Commission will work together on Minimum Wage related issues.
Stay tuned for further updates on our ongoing efforts to promote fair wages and uphold the rights of workers!
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