In the morning hours when you leave for office you find women, young and middle-aged, sitting in groups at the edges of the streets of several localities in Karachi — North Nazimabad, Gulshan, Garden, PECHS, Clifton — some chatting, a few ruminating, a couple doing needlework.
These are domestic workers waiting for bajis, their employers, to wake up, open the doors of their homes and let them in to the world of work that exists at the fringe of the labour market. It is one that is bereft of job security and decent wages and excluded from the scope of labour laws.
Since money, as the exciting and active concept of value, confounds and exchanges all things, it is the general confounding and compounding of all things—the world upside down—the confounding and compounding of all natural and human qualities.
Increasing prevalence of contract work in the labor market is a global phenomenon. Low production cost and increase in productivity–the reasons cited by economists for contract labour—both lead to wealth accumulation. Thus, the hidden motive behind contract work is desire, or greed of the employer, for more profit, more money. No wonder, then, contract work is so confounding that even the ILO finds it full of complexity and riddled with ‘conceptual’ problems.