TOBA TEK SINGH: A workers convention held here in Chak 279/JB underlined the need for sweeping steps to ensure rights and welfare of the brick-kiln workers.

The convention addressed by labour leaders and their representatives expressed grave concern over the dilly-dallying of the Labour and Social Security departments and the Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution to register brick-kilns and issue social security and EOBI cards to the kiln workers. Speaking on the occasion, Director Peaceful and Active Centre for Humanity Imran Anjum said that there are more than 150 kilns across the district with over 20,000 workers. ‘Under the Factories Act 1934, each kiln and its workers are required to be registered with the Labour and Social Security departments,” he pointed out.–Staff Reporter

He said that the Social Security Department is bound to issue cards to the registered workers, adding that the District Vigilance Committees (DVC) should be revived for the protection of the rights of kiln workers.

He informed that these committees were formed in 2001 to look after affairs of the workers and protect their rights. “Without revival of these committees, none of the public departments concerned can be held accountable,” he emphasised.

They demanded the issuance of security cards and implementation on the Punjab government’s fixed wages - Rs962 per 1,000 bricks -for the brick-kiln workers.