Pakistan: The workers of the Dhudhiwala power looms in Faisalabad are on the move

The workers of Dudhdiwala power looms in Faisalabad are terribly oppressed by the administration and the factory owners. Their daily working hours go from 12 to 16 hours. They get very low salaries. Against all these brutal conditions imposed by the mill owners the workers went on strike.

The workers of Dudhdiwala power looms in Faisalabad are terribly oppressed by the administration and the factory owners. Their daily working hours go from 12 to 16 hours. They get very low salaries. They don't have any social security. And above all the administration are using them as private servants. They don't get any kind of pension or medical facilities. They don't have any job security. Their leave allowance, which should be fixed at RS 50 under the law, is only RS 15.

Against all these brutal conditions imposed by the mill owners the workers went on strike and they put forward the following demands.

- The workers should not be given the responsibility of the irrelevant work other than their field.
- The workers should not be used as private servants.
- The workers should be given social security
- The working hours should be decreased from 16 hours and 10 hours to 8 hours. 
- They should be given job security.
- All the factories should remain closed on public holidays including May Day.
- Instead of 15 Rupees the leave allowance should be RS 50 as per law.
- The workers should be given full rate of production according to the law.

Reacting to this agitation instead of giving relief to the workers the administration called the police by giving a bribe to the local authorities and police and got the workers beaten. The workers and labour leaders were badly beaten up and dragged through the streets by the police and 24 labourers were locked up in the police station.

But the workers continued their strike. After a long negotiation the factory owners and the workers reached an agreement according to which the mill owners agreed to pay the workers the full rate of production according to the law. And along with that the factory owners and the administration promised to withdraw their police cases against the leading workers Iqbal Jellani who is a member of the PTUDC and other labour leaders. After this the workers declared the end of the strike.

But the Factory owners did not accept the demands, nor did they withdraw their police complaints which were made against the labour leaders.

The President of the PTUDC Comrade Manzoor Ahmed who is also a Member of Parliament, together with another three Members of Parliament, Ch Qamar uz Zaman Qaira, Ch Zulfiqar Gondal, and Ch Zafar Waraich, have strongly condemned the attitude of the administration and the Mill owners and declared their full support for the workers of the Dhudiwala Power loom workers, (in Jaranwala Road, Faisalabad).

In Faisalabad more than 600,000 workers work in the power looms. All of them are living a life not different from what is described above.

This is the terrible condition of capitalism where the very lowest paid workers have work day and night and in response they are treated as slaves. And because the mill owners are rich people they can buy the police administration, the local political leadership and the law enforcing agencies.

This clearly shows that unless the workers fight against this rotten capitalist system they will never be able to live a decent human life. So the workers have to combine their struggle for their rights with the struggle for the socialist revolution. It is impossible for the working class to live an honourable and prosperous life under this capitalist system.