As the lockdown continues across the country to contain the spread of coronavirus, textile industry owners on Monday informed the Sindh High Court (SHC) that they would not be able to pay their employees because of the suspension of economic activities.
12 major textile industries had filed a petition in the court against the Sindh government’s order against laying off employees during the lockdown and the obligation on industry owners to pay their employees in full.
As Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar of the SHC heard the petition, the Sindh Home Department and Labour Department submitted their responses to the case.
Secretary Labour Rasheed Ahmed Solangi said that there was a lockdown across the world due to the pandemic and industrial businesses have been shut down, therefore, the provincial government shut down business due to the same reason.
He said that under Sindh Payment of Wages Act, 2015, industry owners are liable to pay their employees. He added that the provincial government has taken all measures lawfully.
However, the lawyer for the petitioners stated that the payment demanded for employees was, in fact, in violation of the law mentioned by the labour secretary. “Industries are closed; we cannot pay the employees,” the counsel responded. He added that this was an important matter and they want the case to be concluded as early as possible.
Upon hearing this, Justice Mazhar adjourned the case and asked the involved parties to continue their arguments on May 6.