WAPDA employees reject privatisation

WAPDA employees have demanded of the government to review the decision of privatization and threatened that workers in thousands would besiege Parliament House Islamabad on December 21, 2011, in case the decision was not taken back.

Hundreds of the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) employees gave the threat during a protest demonstration held under auspices of Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Central Labour Union (PWHECLU-CBA) here outside cantonment Railway Station on Wednesday.

Holding placards and banners inscribed with different slogans against Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO) privatization, unemployment, political interference in government departments and increase in electricity bills and in favour of their demands, they were raising their full throat slogans against the decision being taken by PPP-led government.

The protesting employees after registering their agitation to media persons then marched to Governor House, held a sit-in and blocked the already busiest and jumbled Sher Shah Soori Road for all kind of traffic.

Central Chairman Gohar Taj, Provincial Chairman Mohammad Iqbal, Deputy Chairman Mustajab, were leading their protesters, who in their address said that the country was facing unemployment while thousands of workers would have to render jobless which they added was tantamount to snatch bread from their children.

They said the government on one hand was restoring the sacked employees of different departments but on the other, the revenue generating institutions of the country were being privatized and certainly unemployment would further be increased. They said the PPP founder and former Prime Ministers Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto manifesto was for the poor and gave and protected rights of the labours and workers while the present PPP leaders were abandoning their manifesto. The privatization, they expressed grave concern over the proposed decision and said Pesco was a revenue generation institution and their privatization would direct affect the consumers because the company would increase power tariff instead of decrease in electricity bills.

They, therefore, demanded of the federal government review the proposed decision and take back it failing which the agitation of the employees would extend to Islamabad and all the responsibilities would rest with the government.