Fuel stations defy minimum wage law

KARACHI: Almost all petrol pumps and CNG stations in Karachi defy minimum wage law while some of them also violate minimum age limit in hiring workers.

Sindh government had increased minimum wage for workers by Rs 10000 from Rs 8000, which was effective from 1st July 2013, but most of the petrol pumps and CNG stations are still paying Rs 5000 to Rs 7500 to their workers. These entities are also taking 12-hour work from these employees, which is great injustice in the society.

Abdul Samad, a 17-year-old boy worker at a petrol pump in Quaidabad, said: “My monthly salary is Rs 5500 and I have been compelled to do 24-hour work. The company then give him 24 hours for rest.”

When asked about other benefits he said: “I get Rs 150 daily allowance while being on duty but no allowance is paid during leave. “My total salary becomes Rs 7500.”

Many other workers at petrol pumps, located in Korangi Industrial Area, also expressed the same situation and said that they have no benefits, including medical allowance and paid leaves. “They deduct our salary even when we remain absent from duty owing to illness or some emergency,” they said.

Deputy General Secretary National Trade Union Federation Pakistan Nasir Mansoor said that petrol pumps, including those which are property of multinational companies openly violated labour laws. He said that his federation tried several time to make a union of petrol pumps and CNG station workers but the influential owners foiled their efforts by firing those workers were trying to join union.

He urged the government to make it mandatory for all petrol pumps to pay at least Rs 10000 monthly to workers besides all others benefits and do not force them to work more than eight hours daily.

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