Muhammad Karim, a workerof the Ghori Cement Factory, lamented his two decades of hard work could not bring any positive changes in his life as he could not even build his own house.
Interviewed by Pajhwok Afghan News, the father of three daughters and as many sons said he had been working for the recently privatized Ghori Cement factory for the last 20 years.
The factory paid him 8,000 afganis as monthly salary, he said, adding he was paying 2,500 afganisfor renting a house. ‘In this era of inflation, I am spending difficult days and it is almost impossible for me to meet ends meet for my family,’ he added.
Most of the time, he rushed to work early in the morning and had to skip his breakfast.He said, ‘My children always demand their school stationeries such as pencils, notebooks, booksand school uniforms. I make false promises to my kids because I cannot afford to buy all the stuff for them."
He leaves for work early and returns home late in an apparent attempt to avoid his kids’ demands. Karim borrowed money in the winter to pay for the additional expenses to buy warm clothes for his children and heating of his house. He demanded from the government to provide him with shelter, which would help himmeet his other expenses.
When the factory was privatized the workers were happy thinking their salaries and packages would increase. He said nothing hadchanged in terms of their economic hardships rather it turned worse.He said the workers faced unbearable hardship to earn their livelihood in a decent way and on top many of them got fired from their jobs on various pretexts.
After working for 20 years, Karim said he did not think he had a secure job or a secure life. He could be sacked and replaced anytime. He expressed concerns there was no job security as it had now became a private company.