LABOUR ACTIVITIES IN SINDHAS RECORDED AND REPORTED IN OFFICIAL RECORD. RESEARCH DOCUMENT BY DR.DURMUHAMMAD PATHAN.
Working Class is the backbone of any society and cerdit of all progress & development in every country, in every where goes to this Class. Societies, ignoring the rights ofthis Class, will never witness peace and respect, honour and dignity. Sindh hasrecognized the role, importance and status of this Class. Shah Inayat of Jhokbecome symbol of this Class and gave a wonderful philosophy and strategy how& why to fight for rights of this Class.Like wise, Shah Latif of Bhitcomposed poetry and wrote chapters on the greatness of working class. It was in1926, when first ever book in Sindhi with title ‘Samyavad”(Socialism) waswritten/translated by Jethmal Parsram.Emergance of Hari Party and formation ofLabour wing by every political party provides evidence that Sindh loves andowns this Class. In my book titled ‘Adab Ain Mahol’, in 1985, I included aseparate Chapter ‘Impact of Socialism on Sindhi Literature’ and in this chapterI traced the political and ideological influence of Communist Revolution ofRussa.
No doubt, our writers havetouched this topic seriously, but research-oriented task is yet be completed.In this connection, it is very important that Source-Material be collectedaccording to latest Reseach Methodology. Therefore, we have to go through pagesof Newspapers, Official records & proceedings of parties & groups ofour Workig Class. My humble efforts and this Document will be remembered asserious initiate in this regard. You will find a lot about activities of ourLabour Class pertaining to British Era. It is based on only on Source and thatis reports from Sindh Government to the Government of India. I have givenreference at the end of every event. This labour of love has taken my so many days&nights, time & energy. May it please my people and lovers of history withspecial reference to Labour Class. I am thankful to Chacha Qazi Altmash ofSindh Bank and his close friend Akbar Rafiq Siddiqui for helping me and workingfor me as typist and computer operators. I am highly thankful to them andappreciate their working-craft. Both did a lot for me, history, research andreaders of this document.]
*- There was a certainamount of labor agitation during the fortnight in connection with the formationof Tramway Employees Union which has not yet ended satisfactorily. (No.P-25/H(S)/37,Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 8th May 1937)
*- Under the auspices of theKarachi Factories workers union, “May Day” was celebrated in Karachi on the 1stMay by the procession (attendance about 900) followed by a public meeting(audience about 1000) placards bearing the symbol of the “Hammer and Sickle”were carried in the procession. The speeches at the meeting were communistic intone and, on the whole, anti-Government, the audience however, dwindledconsiderably and numbered about two hundred at the close of the meeting. Aspecial feature of the celebrations this year was the participation for thefirst time of the congress as a body. (No.P-25-H(S)/37 Home Department(Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 19th May 1937)
*- For some time past thedock laborers has been agitation for a reduction in the working hours from nineto eight hours per day, and as a result of continued propaganda by Naraindas A.Bechar, M.L.A, about four to five hundred laborers went on strike on themorning of the 5th of July. Out of fifteen ships in the harbor thatwork was done on only three the next morning about three hundred and fiftystrikers endeavored to stop this work, they forced open the gate which barredthe entrance to the whari. This caused a clash with the police who eventuallydrove back the crowed with tine use of their lathis, and the arrival of policereinforcements soon brought the situation under control. Both sides sustainedslight injuries. The strike was eventually called off at 4:00pm the same day onan assurance being given by the chairman of the port trust to Naraindas A. Bacharto use his best endeavors with the port trust board to have the hours reducedfrom nine to eight and half, The laborers there upon resumed work that veryevening. The board has since agreed to a shift of eight and a half hours perday and night. The situation is now quiet and work is running smoothly.(No.P-25-H(S)/37, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 20thJuly 1937).
* The strike here among thedock laborers was called off on the second or third day, on the promise of thechairmen of the Port Trust to put proposal before a special meeting of theboard of trustees for a reduction of the hours. The result of the reduction ofthe hours which was accepted by both the trustees (the representative of theshipping interests & dissenting) and the workmen is that the hours now arethe same as those in Bombay harbor. As the port has a reputation for theefficiency of its labor and the rapidity with which the ships are unloaded andloaded, I think we may welcome the shortening of the hours, but the unpleasantfeatures of the strike are that it was called without notice and the violenceoccurred on the first and second day, though not such violence as could not becontrolled by the police. (Copy of report dated the 23rd July 1937from the Governor of Sind to His Excellence the History)
*-The attempt made toarrange negotiation between the west India tramways company and the tramwayunion to settle constant disputes which occur between them has not succeeded sofar. The union was, from the very beginning wager for arbitration, but thecompany only agreed reluctantly. Finally on account of the difficulty ofsecuring an agreement between them about the personnel of the arbitrators andthe terms of reference, arbitration could not be arranged. At the moment ofwriting negotiations are still in progress. (No.P-25-HH(S)/37, Home Department(Special), Sindh Secretariat, Karachi, 3rdSeptember 1937)
*-under directions fromgovernment the district magistrate, Karachi, again approached the tramwaycompany with definite proposals for the constitution of an Arbitration Boardand the formulation of terms of reference to settle the dispute between thecompany and the tramway workers union. While agreeing to the principle ofarbitration the company rejected all the terms put forward by the union andhave insisted upon those suggested by them. So far as cab is seen, there is nowno likelihood of voluntary arbitration on the basis of the demands of the union.(No.P-25-H(S)/37, Home Department (Special), Sindh Secretariat, Karachi, 20thSeptember 1937)
*-Owning to the longstanding dispute between the management and the employees of the Karachi SindFlour Mill in connection with the reinstatement of some dismissed employees,about one hundred labors of the dock workers union struck work on the 28thDecember and refused to handle a consignment of cargo from the Mill which hadto be shipped that day. The strike was engineered by Mr.Naraindas A. Bechar, M.L.A,and in view of his action the Karachi Port Trust Board have banned his entryinto the Port Trust whereas for the period of three months. It is reported thatMr. Bechar is taking steps to organize a general labor strike with a view tohaving the ban lifted. (No.P-25-H(S)/38, Home Department (Special), SindSecretariat, Karachi, 21st January 1938)
*- The taxi drivers ofKarachi had been agitating for some time past for the reduction of themunicipal wheel tax from Rs.70 to Rs.50 per annum. Finding that no notice wasbeing taken of their demand they organized a strike on 21stJanuaryand parked their cars in the Municipal compound. The strike was called off thenext day on the assurance of a Municipal Councilor that their case would beduly considered at an emergent meeting of the Municipal Corporation. TheCorporation has since reduced the tax. (No.P-25-H(S)/38,Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 3rd February1938)
*- On the morning of the 5thFebruary one hundred and fifty employees in the boiler workshops of Messrs,Haman and Mohatta. Its downed tools to stress their demands for an increase inwages. The strike was engineered by Mr. N.A Bechar, M.L.A, and the labor leaderand still continues, the number of strikers has since swelled to five hundredand work is in consequence at a standstill. The leaders of both parties have atthe time of writing, decided to defer the dispute for arbitration by the chiefMinister. (No.P-25-H(S)/38, Home Department (Special), Sindh Secretariat, Karachi,18th February 1938).
*-There has been arecrudescence of agitation in connection with the dispute between the Tramswayemployees union and the East India Tramsway Company, the union have placedcertain demands before the company, threatening a strike of the employees ifthe demands are not conceded. The matter is still under negotiation and fiftylaborers of the India Flour Mill, Karachi, resorted to a lightning strike onthe 21st March as a protest against the refusal of the management toincrease their pay, the strike was however called off a few hours later on themanagement undertaking to look into the matter. (No.P-25-H(S)/38, HomeDepartment (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 9th April 1938)
*- The threatened strike ofthe employees of the East India Tramways Company mentioned in my last reporthas not materialized so far. The company has adopted a conciliatory attitudetowards some of the union’s demands and the labor leader Mr. N.A. Behar, M.L.A,has advised acceptance of the company’s proposals and undertaken to continuenegotiations for the redress of the remaining grievance. (No.P-25-H(S)/38, Home Department (Special),Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 20th April 1938)
*-“Labor Day” was celebratedin Karachi on the 1st May instant by a procession and public meetingunder the leadership of Mr. N.A. Bechar, M.L.A, attended by about two thousandpeople. Anti-capitalist placard were carried in the procession and resolutionswere passed at the meeting “congratulating the comrades” of Russia and thelaborers in other parts of the world on their campaign against a capitalism,demanding in eight hour working dat, wages during unemployment and sickness,old age pensions and better housing.
* The long-standing disputebetween the management and the employees of the Sind Sloar Mill, Karachiculminated in a strike on the 22nd May when one hundred and twentylaborers out of one hundred and twenty five employed at the mill ceased work,thus bringing the work at the mill to a stand-still. The question of thereinstatement of some dismissed employees had been referred to arbitration andthe award of the arbitrators, by which only five out of eleven dismissedlaborers were reinstated, was one of the cause of the present strike, peacefulpicketing was resorted to the first day, but the situation threatened to becomeserious the next day when the strikers broke through the police cordon andprevented three lorries from entering the mill. Apart from this one incidenthowever, the strike was peaceful and eventually came to an end on the eveningof the 5th May, when the management agreed to reinstate all theeleven dismissed employees and also granted some concessions in respect of pay,working hours and leave. (No.O-25-H(S)/38, Home Department (Special), SindSecretariat, Karachi, 8th May 1938)
*- Nine employees of theRoyal Aerated Water Factory went on strike on the 21st April as aprotest against the dismissal of one of their colleagues who was absent forfifteen days owing to illness and was not taken back when he desired to resumework. The management has employed six new hands to replace the strikers. (No.P-28-H(S)/38,Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 9th May 1938)
*- The laborers working inthe go-downs at new chali, Karachi, asked for an increases in their wages fromannas 12 and 14 to Rs. 1-4-0 Mr.Naraindas Bachar, M.L.A. met the owners of thego-downs on the 10th May and threatened them with a strike from thefollowing day if the demand of the laborers was not granted. As a result of thenegotiations carried on by Mr.Issardas Varandmal, M.L.A settlement was reachedon a basis of Rs.1-2-6.
* Six discharged laborersfrom a local khopra mill complained to Mr.Naraindas Bechar, M.L.A. on the 14thMay that they had been wrongly discharged, He has approached the management andpressed for their reinstatement.
* The laborers of theB.I.S.N Company have abandoned the idea of a strike as their grievances arebeing investigated. There was a movement to demand an increase of wages on thepart of coolies working on a lorries and tally clerks working at the NativeJetty and Keamari. The tally clerks and contractors called a joint meeting onthe 22nd Msy to arrive at a settlement twelve conductors of theDayaram Santdas City Bus Service, Hyderabad (Sind) struck work on the 17thMay as a protest against maltreatment, low pay, long hours and non-supply ofuniform etc. The strike was subsequently called off and an amicable settlementwas arrived at on the lines suggested to the parties by the local officers.
* The laborers of the boilerworkshop of Messrs Herman and Mohatta, Limited, Karachi, are carrying on asecret agitation because their demands for increased wages have not yet beengranted. Negotiations are proceeding between the employers and Mr. N.A Bechar,M.L.A. (No.P-25-H(S)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi,10th June 1938)
- * Of late, Karachi seemsto be in the grip of a strike fever. On the 10th instant about fivehundred laborers of the warehouse and transport labor union, who are employedin the go downs in the dock area, went on strike owing to the allegeddifferential payment between the rates paid to them and those paid to thelaborers of European firms, The strike was engineered by Mr. N.A Bechar, M.L.A.The attitude of the strikers was peaceful and the strike was eventually calledoff on the 13th instant, when the strikers resumed work as usual.
* The long-standing disputebetween the management and the employee of the East India Tramway Company in alightning strike on the 18th instant when the drivers of tramway andbuses ceased playing their conveyances from 4:00 pm. The strike lasted for fourhours and caused considerable inconvenience to the general public, it waseventually called off on an assurance being given by the company’s manager toMr. N.A. Bechar, M.L.A, that the demand of the strikers would be properlyinvestigated.
* Apropos of the troubleamong the laborers of the B.I.S.N Company referred to in my last report, it isunderstood that the company is not disposed to agree to an increase in wages asdemanded by their employees Mr. N.A Bechar, M.L.A, has accordingly served thecompany with notice threatening a strike if the wages are not increased by the25th June. The trouble in the boiler workshop of Messrs, Herman andMohatta Ltd, has since subsided as satisfactory settlement was reached byarbitration. (No.P-25-H(S)/138, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat,Karachi, 18th June 1938)
* Labor and Strikes-A strikebroke out on the 15th November at the Karachi City Goods Station,when about ninety four laborers employed for loading and unloading charcoaldowned tools protesting against the dismissal of two men and demanding anincrease in wages. The strike was called off on the two dismissed men and togrant an increase in wages.
* The dispute between theElectric Employees Union and the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation is stillunsettled the employees are not satisfied with the assurance given by themanagement that the men thrown out of employment were discharged as a measureof retrenchment and not because of any grudge against the union.
* On the 22ndNovember, about eighty laborers who transport goods from the Cloth Market tothe Railway Goods Station went on strike as a protest against the refusal ofthe merchants to abide by the award given by the arbitrator regarding increasein wages. The goods of those merchants, who agreed to pay the increased rates,were carried by other transport work was help up by peaceful picketing. Thestrike continues, but more and more of the merchants are agreeing to pay theincreased rates, and it is expected that the remaining merchants will soonyield. (No.P-25-H(S)/38, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi,5th December 1938)
*- The dispute between the Tramsways Companyand its employees regarding pay, for the days for which they were last onstrike has been settled temporarily. The company has agreed to advance pay forthese days on the understanding that the matter should be discussed along withthe other points as issue, and that the pay now advanced will have to berefunded, if it is eventually decided that no pay is due for the days of the strike.The employees have agreed to draw their pay on this understanding.
* Unrest has again brokenout among the employees of the Electric Supply Corporation because ninetemporary employees have been thrown out of work. The Electric Employee Unionhas urged upon the corporation to reemploy the discharged men, and hasappointed Mr. N.A. Bechar, M.L.A, to negotiate with the corporation on theirbehalf.
*- A procession and thepublic meeting were organized by the Sind Provincial Trade Union Congress toprotest against the general rise in prices. Mr. N.A Bechar,M.L.A, presided atthe meeting. The rise in prices has occasioned general agitation for warallowances of various firms, and is being carefully investigated by Governmentas well as the local Chamber of Commerce. It is felt that action if and when itbecomes necessary should be uniform and that a decision should not be taken inthe absence of full data, or by any one group of employers independently of theothers.
* It is learned that theDalmia Cement Factory has served notices if dismissal ostensibly on the groundsof stoppage of construction work on twenty eight of their employees who arereported to be active members of the Factory Trade Union, Considerablyresentment prevails on account of this Mr. N.A Bechar held a meeting in thisconnection wherein he stated that this questioning was still underconsideration, and asked the workers to stand firm and to resist to the utmostif no satisfactory decision was reached. It is understood that this individualhas advanced a sum Rs.300 to those laborers of the factory who have notreceived their wages for the last two months. His influence however is on thewana among the laborers of the factory as they suspect him being in league withmanagement. A meeting of the laborers of the Sind Flour Mills, the India FlourMills and Karachi Flour Mills was held by Mr. N.A Bechar, where resolutionswere passed demanding the introduction of provident funds and thirty threepercent rise in wages.
The increase in tram and busfares introduced by the East India Tramways Company, Limited, has caused wide-spreadresentment in Karachi. Attempt have been made to induce the public to boycottthese services, and the agitation has been sponsored by the Mayor and Corporation,who have addressed Government with request that they may be permitted to run aMunicipal Bus Service in order to compel the Tramways Company to reduce theirfares as result of competition. This request has been made more than once inthe past, and has been refused on the ground that investigation showed it to bewholly remunerative from the point of view of the rate-payers. (Government ofSind, No.P-25-H(S)/40, Home Department (Special), Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18thJanuary 1940)
*-About one hundred andeighty laborers of the Nusserwanji Tiles Factory struck work-their main demandbeing an increase of wages on account if the war. The number of strikers hasswelled and Mr. Naraindas A. Bechars efforts to bring about a settlement havingproved fruitless. The strike still continues peacefully.
The Sardar Carbonic GasCompany has closed down on account of their inability to fulfill the demand ofthe strikers, who have been out since 17th November last.
The laborers of the IndiaFlour Mills, the Sind Flour Mills and Nusserwanji’s Flour Mills, numberingabout 100 and 200, respectively, struck work as a protest against the refusalof their demands for 15 percent war allowance Mr. Naraindas A. Bechar requestedthem to accept a 12½ percent rise in pay and to resume work but they refused todo so.
Ahmed Khan Ali Muhammad Lasicarried on street propaganda in Karachi to protest against the rise in pricesof foodstuffs and other necessities. He condemned capitalism and said that ifGovernment failed to control the rise in prices, laborers would declare ageneral strike in Karachi.
It is learned that Mr.Naraindas.A.Bechar,M.L.A is trying to revive the Karachi Motor Drivers Union.
The honorable Sir GhulamHussain Hidyatt Ullah K.C.S.I, Home Minister, visited the Dalmia Cement Factoryto make known his decision regarding matters under dispute between themanagement and the workers. The outcome of the announcement, however, is notexactly clear at present, but the Dalmia Cement Factory is working as usual. (GovernmentOf Sind, Home Department (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40, Sind Secretariat, Karachi,2nd February 1940).
*- A meeting was held underthe auspices of the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation Employees Union,whereat a demand was made for a 30 percent war allowance and threat to strikewere held out if the demand was not accepted. Some workmen did absentthemselves but subsequently resumed. Negotiations, however, are in progress, inwhich Mr. Muhammad Amin Khoso, M.L.A, and Colonel H.J. Mahon, C.I.E.V.D, M.L.Aare taking part as arbitrators. A strike does not appear to be improbable, andthere seems to be a good deal of unrest among labor generally, stimulated nodoubt by the news from Bombay and Ahmedabad. There was a short strike at theBurorji Ardeshir Bome Factory, but work was resumed pending negotiations, someworkers of the Cotton Spinning Factory of one Ghulam Ali Absented themselves,but work has been resumed and it is expected that the dispute will be amicablysettled. A number of labor meetings of importance have transpired. At meetingof the Central Government low paid staff union, Karachi, Sind low paid staffunion, Karachi, and T.P.Y- (Thole Produce Yard) workers union Karachi,office-bearers were affected. (Government Of Sind, Home Department (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40,Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 4th March 1940)
*- At the meeting of theKarigar Mazdur hit Wardhak Sabha Karachi, unity among laborers was advocated.At a meeting of the Press Workers Union, Karachi, speeches were deliveredcondemning Capitalism, urging press workers to participate in politics and jointhe Congress. At a meeting of the Dalmia Cement Factory Employees Union, Karachiseveral speakers advised the man to go on strike to obtain their demand for awar allowance, and warned the audience that they should be prepared for ageneral strike in imitation of the laborers in Ahmadabad.
* The Employees of the EastIndia Tramways Company Karachi, struck work as a protest against the dismissalof a conductor. Mr.N.A Bechar, M.L.A, along with the members if the union,interviewed the management with the result that the dismissed conductor wasreinstated in a department and the strike was called off within an hour. Apartial boycott of the East India Tramways Company vehicles was, howeverorganized on 7th March, as protest against the increase in fareswhich took place sometime ago.
* About one hundred andeighty workers of various Cotton Spinning and Rope Manufacturing Factories inKarachi struck work as a protest against unpaid overtime. Mr. N.A Bechar,M.L.A, put the request of the workers to the managements with the result thatthe strike terminated as the employers agreed to grant the demands.
* The Nusserwanji TilesFactory is reported to have retrenched about sixty men owing to lack of work. Atthe meeting of the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation Employees Unionresolutions were passed sympathizing with the strikers in Bombay and alsocalling upon the Karachi Municipal Corporation to grant war allowance to itsemployees. (Government Of Sind, Home Department (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40, SindSecretariat, Karachi, 19th March 1940)
*- A number of labor meetingto carry on election propaganda for the forthcoming Karachi Municipal Electionswere held during the fortnight. The dispute between the management of the EastIndia Tramways Company and its employees in the questions of a war allowancestill continues. The arbitrators having disagreed Government were approachedwho appointed Mr. Jamshed Nusserwanjee as umpire. The employees have protestedagainst this selection, and the matter is being further considered. The men arequiet at present, the workers of the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation havealso served a notice on the management, asking for a war allowance andthreatening further action if it is not given. (Government of Sind, HomeDepartment (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40, Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 5thApril 1940).
*- Labor has been quiet onthe surface during the fortnight under report. The Sind Provincial Trade UnionCongress, Karachi, held several meetings at Karachi, where speeches were madeurging laborers to support labor candidates at the ensuing Karachi MunicipalCorporation elections. Communist and revolutionary slogans were raised at themeeting. It is learned that Mr. N.A Bechar, M.L.A, has served the Dalmia CementFactory with a notice of strike if the proposal to retrench about forty men isproceeded with. The employees, however, do not seem to be keen on a strike atpresent . On 3rd April about eighty laborers of the Sind Flour Millsstruck work, as a protest against the appointment of a new hand by theproprietors. The strike continued till the end of the fortnight, but has sincebeen called off and the dispute referred to arbitration. The DistrictMagistrate, Karachi, reported that masers Ralli Brothers have granted a warallowance to their clerical staff, but not their manual laborers. This, iftrue, is a surprising departure from the agreement reached by commercialinterests in Karachi that they would not act independently in this matter.(Government of Sind, Home Department (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40, SindSecretariat, Karachi, 20th April 1940)
*- About one hundred andtwenty five temporary low paid employees of the Electric Supply Corporation,Hyderabad, have voiced their grievances in a memorandum demanding a dearnessallowance and wages for non-working days, and pending a decision most of themhave refused to accept their pay for the month of April, and have threatened tostrike from 10th May. Negotiations are proceeding. In accordancewith an arbitrators award, the East India Tramways Company have sanctioned adearness allowance of 8 percent to those drawing up to Rs.40 per mensem and 5percent to those drawing over Rs40. It is understood that two other firms havesince followed Messrs Ralli Brothers in giving a war allowance. Meanwhile,friction has developed among the various labor unions in Karachi, accompaniedby individual hunger strikes aimed at challenging the supremacy of Mr. NaraindasA. Bechar M.L.A who has hitherto wielded an absolute control over the wholelabor movement in the city. The Dock workers union has rejected him in favor ofanother President and the Dalmia Cement works have had the courage to dismisscertain employees, who joined his union in preference to the one which theyrecognize. Mr. Bechar is not likely to accept these rebuffs without resistance,but until the end of the month he-like most other prominent persons waspre-occupied with the Karachi Municipal elections to the exclusion of otherinterests. (Government of Sind, Home Department (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40, SindSecretariat, Karachi, 6th May 1940)
*- The washer men ofMirpurkhas struck work as a protest against the inadequate supply of water forwashing purposes. The employees of the Karachi Electric Supply Company haveadopted a threatening attitude in demanding a war allowance, in spite of thefact that the company had offered on exgratia bonus of Rs.2 per head per month.The clerical and superior staff has also joined in this demand, and an attempthas been made to enlist the sympathy of the Municipal Corporation on behalf ofthe workers. The relations between this company and their employees have alwaysbeen most cordial, and it is regrettable that agitators should have succeededin embittering then now, apart from the danger involved in any closure of thepower station which supplies current to the port of Karachi, the aerodromes atDrigh Road and the Municipal drainage and water system. A meeting of pressworkers was held in which the questions of war allowance were discussed. Theproprietors of the Ganesh Khopra Mills and Ganesh Tin Factory have been servedwith a notice by their employees asking for a war allowance and a providentfund, failing which they have threatened to go on strike. Retrenchment effectedby several cinema houses in Karachi has caused resentment among their employees.The most outstanding event in labor circles during thefortnight was, however, the celebration of May Day, during which photographersof Stalin, Karl Marx and Lenin were much in evidence resolutions sympathizingwith the labors of the world and resolving of eliminate imperialism andcapitalism and to establish laborers and peasants rule in all countries urgingGovernment to make statutory provision for a minimum wage of Rs. 30 per month,for providing old age pensions and unemployment allowance for guaranteeingsecurity of service, for controlling industries on democratic lines andcondemning the policy of the Government of India in imprisoning labor leadersunder the defence of India Act, were adopted at meetings held to celebrate MayDay. Audiences were informed that May Day was celebrated by workers in Europewith so much enthusiasm that, on occasions, bloodshed occurred and the policefound it difficult to enforce law and order , that the present war was bound toweaken the Capitalistic powers and that the day was to come soon when laborersand peasants rule would be supreme. It was emphasized that the power acquiredby labor in India during the last decade was enormous and would grow till onday they would be able to overthrow the British Government which stood forCapitalism along with its satellites the maharajas and zamindars, who oppressed“Kisans” and Laborers. The repeal of the Defense of India Act was alsourged. (Government of Sind, HomeDepartment (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40, Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 16thMay 1940)
*- There was an ineffectualstrike in the Daulatrain Spinning and Weaving Mill at Karachi. The proprietorof the Dalmia Cement Factory at Drigh Road has persuaded many of his employeesto sever their connection with Mr. NA Bechar, M.L.A, and his union and to forma separate union. About two hundred employees of the factory assembled on 17thMay and organized a separate union, with K.B Pote as their president. Thus forthe second time Mr. Bechar;s supremacy in the Karachi labor world has beensuccessfully challenged by the firm. When the factory was first opened, Dalmiaswere shrewd enough to ensure that their employees formed a union under apresident other than Mr. Bechar, who then set himself out to capture the unionand succeeded in doing so towards the end of last year. He seems to have beendislodged from his position and Government are now contemplating legislation toprevent any individual from being chairman of more than on labor union at atime. The Karachi Electric Supply Corporation dispute with their employees hasbeen settled by the grant from the current month of dearness allowance of Rs.2-8-0 per menesem to those drawing pay up to Rs.50 and Rs.3 to those drawingfrom Rs.50 to Rs.100 per mensem. This will probably be the last attempt by anylarge employers of labor in Karachi to refuse payment of a war allowancewhether under that name or not. As a result of one surrender after anotherfirms are now bowing to the inevitable, and since the decision of the Electric Supply Corporation, the Burmah Shellhave granted a war allowance to their employees with waiting for the latter toask for it. (Government of Sind, Home Department (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40,Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 7th June 1940)
*- A public meeting was heldin Karachi on the evening of the 2nd June to consider the shopAssessment Bill which was proposed to be introduced in the next-session of theAssembly by Dr. Popatial A. Bhoopatkar. It was attended by the Mayor of Karachiand two Ministers, the Honorable Mr.Nihcha ldas C. Vazirani and the HonorableMr. G.M Sayed, Mr. R.K Sidwhwa, M.L.A, made a speech criticizing Government. Healleged that the Sind Government was not the type of Government which existedin other provinces. There was no democracy in Sind, but it was “the raj of theChief Secretary” on the lines of the old bureaucracy. Had the Ministers beentrue representatives of the people they would have themselves sponsored such aBill. It may be stated that Government have since adopted the Bill an officialmeasure.
* The Sind Hari conferencewas held at Pithoro in Thar Parkar district and was attended by about two hundredpersons, including Mr. M.A Khoso, M.L.A. The following resolutions among otherswere passed by the conference:
1. That the conference condemns the action ofGovernment in associating India with the present war without its consent, andresolves that no help should be rendered by India in the war.
2. That the conference condemns nations whocarry on propaganda against Russia as Russia is always on the side of laborers.
· On the morning of 1st June about98 laborers of the Nusserways Tile Factory struck work as a mark of protestagainst the dismissal of four employees Mr. N.A Bechar took up negotiationswith the Manager of the Factory, but no settlement has yet been arrived at andthe strike continues. An attempt has been made to call out the operatives ofassociated concerns in a sympathetic strike. (Government of Sind, HomeDepartment (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40, Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 21stJune 1940)
*- The strike at theNuseerwayanji Tiles Factory was called off on 21st June, through theeffort of Mr. M.H Gazdar, M.L.A, and Mr. Feroze Dastur. The employees of the“Daily Gazette” press and “Sind Observer” press also struck work as a protestagainst the refusal of war allowance and other demands. The strikes werehowever, called off the same day as the management of both presses agreed andaccepted some of the demands and promised to consider the others. There was astrike in the Ghulam Ali Rope and Niwar (Tape) Factory, Karachi, on 21stJune as a protest against extra work, which was called off on 23rd after asettlement was arrived at. All these strikes were peaceful. There is however, agood deal of apprehension on the part of employers at the general unrest amonglabor in Karachi, which has been accentuated lately owing to lack of work atthe docks since shipping was reduced to its present small proportions. It ishoped that the opening of a branch of the Supply Department in Karachi mayprovide employment for a portion of this casual labor. The Honorable Ministerfor labor contemplates settling up an Advisory board, consisting of employers andlabor representatives to help him in dealing with labor problems.
* At a meeting of the SindProvincial Trade Union Congress, Karachi, Mr. N.A Bechar, M.L.A, was electedpresident for the New Year. Mr. Gopal P. Sipahimalani was proposed forsecretary ship has been kept in abeyance, in the hope that Mr. Bechar and Mr. Sipahimalaniwill shortly make up their differences. This, however, seems hardly likely,and-as mentioned in previous reports- Mr. Bechar is evidently losing ground inthe struggle for control of the various unions in Karachi. (Government of Sind,Home Department (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40, Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 10thJuly 1940)
*- Thirty-three workers ofMamu Khoja Rope Factory, Karachi, struck work as a protest against a one-annacut in their wages. Subsequently the proprietor agreed not to introduce the cutand the strike was called off. A meeting whih was attended by nearly 100laborers mostly Muslims and which was presided over by Mr.N.Ghulamali condemnedMr.Bechar’s leadership. The laborers were asked to unite and adivesed not totrust capitalist leaders like Mr.Bechar. The shop workers union at Hyderabadpassed a resolution urging the extension of the application of the shop Assistants Bill to Hyderabad and Sukkur.
* A public meeting was heldat Karachi on the 7th July, nearly 150 persons attended, mostly Muslim. Mr.Muhammad Amin Khoso, M.L.A, presided. Resolution was passedprotesting against the arrest of Abdul Qadir Mawakhan. The meeting also urgedGovernment to adopt measures to eliminate unemployment among the laborers; Italso criticized the move of the Sind Government to bring the Trade DisputesBill in the Sind Assembly for adoption and requested factory owners to grantdearness allowance to their employees. Mr.Muhammad Amin Khoso in the course ofhis speech deplored the arrest of Abdul Qadir Mewakhan and attributed it to the“hypocritical” policy of the present ministry. He declared that the caseagainst him was due to the enmity of zamindars. (Government of Sind, HomeDepartment (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40, Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 22ndJuly 1940)
*- The employees of theNusserwanjji Tiles Factory have again grown restive because of the failure ofthe management to pay half wages for the last strike period as decided by thearbitrators. The Karachi Harbor Hawkers Union held a meeting which was presidedover by Mr. R.K Sidhwa, M.L.A, and Mr. Sidhwa promised to get their licenses which have been cancelled by the Karachi Port Trust restored. The Sind HariCommittee held a meeting at Tando Jam on the 18th July and passedresolutions condemning the arrest of Abdul Kadir MuwaKhan, requestingGovernment to withdraw the case pending against him and exhorting Government togrant rights of proprietorship of land to Haris. (Government of Sind, Home Department (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40, Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 5thAugust 1940)
*- At a meeting of employeesof the local tramways company held at KhaliKdina Hall on the 5th August,resolutions were passed strongly protesting against the Sind Governmentsproposed wave to introduce a Trade Disputes Bill on the lines of the BombayTrade Disputes Bill, warning it that any such move would be not by organizedopposition from the labor class and appealing to the Sind Provincial TradeUnion Congress ti appoint an Anti-Trade Disputes Bill committee to carry onagitation against the Bill. A public meeting was held at Karachi on the 3rdAugust under the auspices of the local league of radical congressmen, whichmostly consist of Resolution s were passed urging the Government to takeimmediate steps to eliminate the increasing unemployment, appealing to the SindAssembly Congress Party to pass legislation so that the property of tenantscould not be attached for the non-payment of rents and emphatically protestingagainst the introduction of the Trade Disputes Bill. Kazi Muhammad Mujtabastated that according to the provisions of the Bill which was undemocratic inprinciple, laborers could not the conciliation officer. He accused theGovernment of being partial so the factory owners and unmindful of the welfareof the laborers. Mr.Nagendra Vyas made a fiery speech in the course of which heobserved that the present leadership of the congress was conspiring to exploitthe poor by effecting compromises with the British, capitalists and zamindars.It was the duty of every radical to give a correct lead to “mazdoors” and“kisans” to end the present Government and the system of Government. He blamedMr.Gandhi for instilling a defeatist mentality into the minds of the people.The British Government will not go away bag and baggage if one or two lacks ofpeople go to jail, the British will not leave India as long as a single bulletremains in the rifle of Englishmen. The congress could not advance so long asnon-violence remains its creed. He exhorted the congress committees to take upthe cause of the “mazdoors” and “kisan”. He quoted the instance of the Russianrevolution where at an opportune moment the “mazdoors” and kisans” electedtheir own representatives and declared that all powers should vest in sovietcommittees. (Government of Sind, Home Department (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40, SindSecretariat, Karachi, 20th August 1940)
*- At an executive meetingof the Sind Provincial Trade Union Congress, Karachi, it was decided to carryon extensive propaganda against the proposed Trade Disputes Bill. The workersof the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation, the “Daily Gazette” presses CrystalIce Factory, The India Flour Mill The Sind Flour Mill and the East IndiaTramways Company have all passed resolutions protesting against the Bill. Anumber of meetings were held in Karachi under the auspices of the SindProvincial Trade Union Congress. At meeting held on the 21stAugustat Karachi, Kazi Muhammad Mujtaba said that the present Government wascapitalistic and foreign and that no justice should be expected from it.Nowhere in the world was the condition of laborers so bad as in India. The SindMinistry was doubting Hitlerian methods in introducing the Bill which takesaway the light of strike from laborers. At another meeting held on the 24thAugust, a resolution was passed condemning the order of the Sind Governmentbanning the entry of Muhammad Amin Khoso, M.L.A, and Noor Muhammad Palijo intoHyderabad. The entry of these persons into Hyderabad City was banned becausethey were found to be interfering with the disposal of the case against AbdulKadir Mewa Khan, a labor worker, who is being tried under the Defense of IndiaRules in Hyderabad. (Government of Sind, Home Department (Special),No.P-25-H(S)/40, Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 3rdSeptember 1940)
*- Active propagandacontinues against the proposed Trade Disputes Bill. Kazi Muhammad Mujtaba hasbeen taking a prominent part in the meeting organized to protest against theBill. (Government of Sind, Home Department (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40, SindSecretariat, Karachi, 21st September 1940)
*- Mr. N.A Bechar, M.L.A,has been elected president of the Municipal Labor Union and Karachi Port TrustUnion. He promised the Municipal labor union to get dear-food allowance for theMunicipal employees.
* Hashu T Kewalramani,leader of the youth movement in Karachi, was sentenced to 18 months rigorousimprisonment under the Defense of India Rules. The Students Union attempted tostage a demonstration before the Secretariat and had to be dispersed by thePolice and four of them are being prosecuted. (Government of Sind, HomeDepartment (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40, Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 7thOctober 1940)
*- There has been no strikeduring the fortnight. (Government of Sind, Home Department (Special),No.P-25-H(S)/40, Sindh Secretariat, Karachi, 19th October 1940)
*- There has been no laborstrike during the fortnight. About 550 students of the Gujarat Vidyalaya, Karachi, attempted an ineffective strike as a protest against the compulsoryresignations tendered by three teachers. (Government of Sind, Home Department(Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40, Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 6th November 1940)
*- A lightning strike of theemployees of the East India Tramways Company occurred on the afternoon of the13th instant over the dismissal of a conductor following a complaintmade by a passenger. The strike was however, called off the next evening on anagreement that the matter should be referred to arbitration. (Government ofSind, Home Department (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40, Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 21stNovember 1940)
*-No strikes occurred inKarachi during the fortnight under report. The Hyderabad Municipal sweepershowever, struck work on the 26th November as a protest for thenon-acceptance of their demands for increased pay and residentialaccommodation. The strike continued for three days and was only called off whenthe District Magistrate threatened action against the leaders and promisedconsideration of the demands. (Government of Sind, Home Department (Special),No.P-25-H(S)/40, Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 5th December 1940)
*- About eight laborers ofMessrs Mulchand Aildas, contractors, struck work on the 2nd Decemberat the Bunder Goods station, Karachi, as a protest against the non-payment of awar allowance and the non-receipt of their dues for the last few months. Mr.N.A Bechar, M.L.A, interventened on behalf of the strikers and the strike wascalled off after about an hour of its commencement on the employers agreeing toaccede to the demands of the employees. (Government of Sind, Home Department (Special), No.P-25-H(S)/40, Sind Secretariat, Karachi, 18th December1940)