Workers protest after Master Tiles fails to pay four months wages on eve of Eid

Factory management tried to placate the protestors with Rs 10,000 per worker and the promise of releasing the payment after Eid despite earlier promises

LAHORE: Master Tiles & Ceramic Industries Limited, has not been able to pay wages to its factory workers for the past four months, leading to the workers protesting outside the factory. 

Founded in 1982, Master Tiles came to mainstream attention back in 2020 when one the scions of the group wedded into the family that owns Jalal Sons in Lahore in a lavish and star-studded event estimated to have cost Rs 2 billion. 

According to details available with Profit, factory workers had been in talks with management about the release of their salaries which had not been made for the past four months. The company had promised that the workers would get their wages before Eid. However, the wages were not released and to try and placate the workers the management agreed to release Rs 10,000 per worker and pay the rest after Eid. Unhappy with the broken promise, the workers organised a protest chanting slogans against company’s CEO Sheikh Mehmood Iqbal.

Speaking to Profit, one of the workers of the factory, Muhammad Bilal informed that for the last four months, on the one hand, the salary has not been paid, while on the other hand, the workers are being threatened to prevent them from protesting. “Sheikh Mehmood, the owner of Master Tiles, has withheld our salaries for four months. Although Sheikh is also a big donor to Tablighi Jamaat, he refuses to pay the wages to the workers. We are constantly protesting for payment of salaries and the bosses are threatening us with severe punishment,” he exclaimed. 

“We also protested outside the Master Tiles factory in Kamonki but the owners did not care, instead they started threatening us with the police. Sheikh spent around 200 crores on his daughter’s wedding but they have not paid the salaries of their 4000 employees for the last four months as tomorrow is Eid. They are not billionaires, they are trillionaires, their daughter’s wedding which took place in 2020 and was called the most expensive wedding in Pakistan. Maulana Tariq Jameel taught Nikah and the wedding guests were given gifts wrapped in gold foil. Their factories are state of the art but they are very cruel when it comes to paying the workers,” he lamented.

Muhammad Muzamil, another factory worker, informed Profit that the owners and management had promised to make some payments to the workers before Eid but now the management has reneged on this promise citing ‘poor factory conditions’.

“So, the workers staged a dharna at the factory gate as a protest, but instead of fulfilling their very legitimate demand, the management is threatening them. The employees also protested by blocking the GT Road for not getting their salaries, but this news could not be aired on any TV channel because it is a heavy advertisement party. Now the owners have come down on open hooliganism with the full support of the entire district administration, Commissioner Gujranwala and the police. 

“Yesterday, after the continuous protest of the workers, the factory management announced the payment of only RS 10,000 per person and made false promises to pay the rest after Eid. Due to the dire need of money on Eid, the workers were currently willing to receive a payment of ten thousand per person, but the cruelty is that this payment was also made to the same workers who were present on spot. Later, when the rest of the workers came to collect this money, the factory management flatly refused and threatened them with serious consequences, filing cases and arrests through the police, forcing them to return home empty-handed,” he informed.

However, some workers also told Profit that they would continue to protest against the factory owners until their salaries were not paid. On the other hand, the issue of non-payment by Master Tiles to the workers on the occasion of Eid was also viral on social media.

Many attempts were made to talk to the company’s HR team about the issue of non-payment of salaries, but could not be contacted.

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Shahab Omer
Shahab Omer
The writer is a member of the staff and can be reached on [email protected]


  1. The commissioner promised the workers be paid after 4th day of the Eid. Let see. Or we will be on the road again.

  2. First housing society scams (Le Paris) and now not paying employees their due wages on Eid. If he truly is a Jamaat-e-Islami follower, they should publicly disown him.


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