Labour (Mazdoor) There are forty-two factories employing a total of about 8,000 workers, and 1,200 small industrial and commercial units which together employ about 400 people, in Sukkur District. Among the factories are included the workshops of government organizations such as the railways, agricultural, engineering, irrigation, road transport, mechanical engineering, and construction works, and a thermal power station. The factories in the private sector are involved in cement, fertilizers, foundry work, and beverages production. The industrial and commercial establishment consists of banks, hotels, theatres, repair shops, etc.
The workers in some of these establishments have formed unions. There are a total of thirty-one unions in Pakistan, of which the majority are affiliated with the Sindh Mazdoor (Labour) Federation, Sukkur. The Rohri Cement Works Union is affiliated with the Pakistan Federation of Cement Workers; the remaining unions are mostly independent. All the unions joined the Mazdoor Rabita Committee, Sukkur, when it was formed in the early 1 980s. It and the various federations are heavily subscribed to within their respective organizations, and there is no problem with the non-unionized factories and establishments of Sukkur.
The four main pieces of legislation regarding labour are:
The Workmans Compensation Act, 1923; the Weights and Measures Act, 1932; the Factories Act, 1934; and the Payment of Wages Act, 1936. Of-fences under these Acts are tried by the Additional District Magistrate. In one year the Sukkur Lab our Court heard five cases under the Workman’s Compensation Act, imposing fines of over Rs 240,000, and sixteen under the Wages Act, where fines of over Rs 200,000 were levied; in another year, various shops were fined Rs 69,000 under the Weights and Measures Act.
COMMERCE AND LABOUR
The trade of pre-conquest Sindh had run along two distinct lines: the local trade in cloth, grain, and other manufactured goods between the siro (north) and the Jar (south); and the transit trade, with caravans of fruit from the north, spices from Bombay, cloth, etc. coming from Kalat to Shikarpur and from there to Karachi, from Kutch to Hyderabad and Karachi, and also to the Punjab and Bahawalpur. There is ample evidence that Sindh enjoyed considerable commercial and industrial prosperity in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The important cotton manufacturing towns, all within easy reach of the Indus, were Bukkur, Rohri, Darbelo, Gambat, Kandiaro, Sehwan, Sann, and Nasarpur. The political disorders of the eighteenth century, with Nadir Shahs invasion in AD 1739, and later the Kalhora Talpur civil wars, led to a general decline in the countries industry and prosperity. This time of; troubles, as Shah Abdul Latif of Bhit called it, left Sindh exhausted and poor; under the Talpurs, however, it enjoyed a short period of recovery. Sukkur also gained in importance at this time, though its growth was slower than that of Karachi, Shikarpur, and Hyderabad. Trade conditions in Sukkur District were good. It had a good port, the main source of contact with the world being the river. Cultivation of the land brought some prosperity, and communications by road and river were satisfactory. The early merchants of the town were local inhabitants, both Hindus and Muslims, who were involved in both trade and manufacture. Sukkur had, over a considerable period, developed into a centre of commerce, with goods being brought to Sukkur from neighboring villages and also from many parts of Upper Sindh. By the time of the British Raj, trade was being carried out not only with the important cities of the subcontinent, but with foreign countries as far field as Europe as well. It flourished as one of the greatest food markets, especially grain, and foreign traders from many parts of the East, and even from Russia, came to buy wheat from this market. Sukkur was known for producing the best quality of wheat, dates, oil, fish, and sugarcane. Sukkur was also rich in cattle, and therefore ghee was also exported. The entire eastern side of Wallis Ganj, from what is now the fire brigade station, to Chipri Bunder, was the center of the ghee trade, and the area is still known as Ghee Gudam (go down)