Lahore, March 25, 2023: Sanitary workers who have worked with Hyderabad Municipal Corporation on a contractual basis for a period of one to seventeen years had their jobs terminated in December 2022, without any written notice or verbal orders.
While the employees were waiting to have their positions regularized, they were also paid below the minimum wage as stipulated by the Department of Labor and Manpower of the Government of Sindh, with a monthly salary of 19,000 Rupees, rather than 25,000. Ironically, instead of providing their legitimate rights, the management of the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has made hundreds of employed sanitary workers unemployed, leaving the affected workers and their innocent children to suffer deprivation, starvation, and severe mental illness. They are suffering. As you are the honorable representative of the minority people, you are "compassionate appealed" to do your part to not only reinstate but also make them permanent/regular.
Imran Gill, 43, one of the sanitary workers working for the Sindh Municipal Committee, Hyderabad said the Municipal Committee had committed injustice to the workers.
He added, "We have been working as sanitary workers here since 2007 on a contract basis. Every year, the Sindh Municipal Committee, Hyderabad Higher Authority informed us that this year that our jobs will be confirmed, but as the New Year comes to an end they again promise us that next year [we] will be confirmed, somehow fifteen years [have] passed now.”
He continued, “But now after 15 years passed in December 2022, the Sindh Municipal Committee Hyderabad give a contract of sanitation to Sindh Solid Waste Management Board. And they immediately finished our job without any proper reason.” He further added that “The Sindh government fixed 25,000 Rupees per month [as the] minimum salary, but Sindh Municipal committee Hyderabad is giving us only 19,000 Rupees per month…for a long time. But we were happy with this amount of whatever they were giving to us. Now a third month has started, [and] they are not listening to us.”
He also said, “There are…Muslim colleagues work here as drivers, peons, and as clerks. They are all on a contract base like us, but [the] higher authority has confirmed them, but keep ignoring sanitary workers because of being Christian.”
Gill said, “I am living in Latifabad Hyderabad, Sindh with my parents. I have four children, two sons, and two daughters. All are studying in school, now I am facing financial problems. Sometimes we have nothing to eat. There are about 100 to 150 other sanitary workers with me who are facing this critical situation too.”
He also said, according to government rules, if someone works, at least for a minimum period of three months on a contract job, he/she is qualified for the government’s permanent employment. “But we have worked there since 2007. They cheat us and confirm their own Muslim employees but ignore us because we are Christians.”
Gill has called for the Christian leadership of Pakistan to raise their voice for justice and bring back their jobs no problem on a contract basis.
He also appeals to the higher authorities to take action so that hundreds of unemployed employees can get rid of this pain, suffering, and trouble. It should be noted that this action of the administration of Hyderabad Municipal Corporation is a serious violation of the law, human rights, and the laws of the International Labor Organization (ILO).
Boota Imtiaz, a social worker and human rights activist, also forwarded an appeal to Mr. Anthony Naveed, a member of the provincial assembly Sindh, requesting for the job restoration of all sanitary workers and also a request for a raise in salary in accordance with the government of Sindh's new minimum pay scale.