Underpayment of Minimum Wages by Brick Kiln Owners - July 23, 2011

The Brick Kiln Industry (which is the focus of new protests after imposition of 16% general sales tax in Budget 2011-12) is paying only 60% of the prescribed minimum wages under Punjab Government’s minimum wage rules. Punjab’s minimum wage laws require that a labourer be paid PKR517.70 for 1000 bricks while workers are receiving amounts around PKR300 for 1000 bricks.

However, if we compare the situation of brick workers with tile workers, brick workers are in a better position. The Minimum Wage notification of Punjab Government requires payment of PKR 612.50 for per 1000 tiles however they receive PKR 400 per 1000 tiles on average. Another underpaid workers are truck and tractor drivers who are supposed to be paid around PKR 10,000 for 26 days of work however they get only 50% of this amount.

Although Labor Department is aware of these discrepancies, however it can’t take action on itself. A labourer has to lodge a formal complaint to redress this problem of underpayment.

Source: "Brick kilns pay workers 41% below mandated minimum"