Participants of women convention on economic justice has demanded for the protection of the rights and fair wages and other social security facilities to these agriculture workers specific engaged in cotton crop. The convention held by Sindh Community Foundation attended by more than 400 women cotton pickers from the different areas of all three talukas of District Matiari.
Javed Hussain, head of Sindh Community Foundation, said that more than half million cotton pickers are engaged in cotton picking process but experience very worst situation in terms of low wages, poor working conditions and less facilities. As cotton is one of the major cash crops of Sindh province, Pakistan's most important industrial and export sector, textile and clothing (T&C) industry rests largely on women's shoulders. Women cotton pickers, under the scorching heat, work in the cotton fields of southern region of Punjab and Sindh to harvest the raw material for T&C production. Although they are responsible for the industry's growth, they remain poor and exploited as their wages are extremely low, they have weak bargaining power and their health suffers from a hazardous working environment that involves excessive use of poisonous pesticides.
He claimed that the SCF has get registered 7 trade unions of the Matiari district and 2 more in process of registration as trade union with labour department provision under the Sindh Industrial Relations Act (SIRA), 2013. Sindh Abadgar Board member and grower Nadim Shah said that relationship between peasant and grower and grower and labour is like parental relation, the issues raised by women cotton pickers are genuine they must be resolved and the law regarding the wages should be developed with consultations of the growers and other relevant stakeholders. He also shared the grievance of the growers that due to inflation in agri-inputs agriculture become more difficult to manage.