Powerloom owners, LQM stick to their guns

Published August 26, 2015
FAISALABAD: Powerlooms Workers Union members raise slogans on the fourth day of their sit-in outside the DCO Office. — Online
FAISALABAD: Powerlooms Workers Union members raise slogans on the fourth day of their sit-in outside the DCO Office. — Online

FAISALABAD: After having two rounds of talks, the powerloom owners and Labour Qaumi Movement (LQM) office-bearers could not reach any conclusion to open factories in Sidhar closed since Aug 8.

The LQM will hold a long march on the CM House today (Wednesday).

A number of workers staged a protest rally on Tuesday after talks held in the presence of the district government and police officials failed.


Workers stage a rally after inconclusive talks


The rally started from the DCO Office where LQM workers were staging the sit-in on fourth consecutive day and after taking a round of the Clock Tower it reached the starting point.

Talking to Dawn, LQM spokesman Abuzar Ghafari said they had tried their level best to convince factory owners to restore looms. However, some factory owners seem unwilling to resolve the issue, he added.

The LQM office-bearers asked their employers to pay workers 17-day wages as they had closed their units ‘without any justification.’ Over this, he said, factory owners left the dialogue and categorically refused to pay to workers.

He said the LQM workers would stage a long march on the CM House today and would not return till acceptance of their demands.

Adil Bari, president of Council of Looms Owners, Sidhar chapter, said: “The employers are ready to reopen their units on the conditions that the administration will take action against the extortionists, LQM leaders will not come to their factories for collection of what they said donations and workers will clean the looms after their duty.”

He said the dialogue was going on at the TMA Complex when ‘LQM friends’ started demanding payment to workers who could not earn even a penny owing to strike by the owners. He said at this point the first round of talks ended without any result.

In the second phase, he said, LQM leaders reiterated their demand for payment that was not acceptable to owners.

Owing to such tactics of the LQM, the factory owners were on strike and even after 17-day closure “they are stick to their demand for payment,” he said.

Bari said: “Such payments are also tantamount to extortion. How can owners pay to workers when they did not earn even a penny?”

“We will not restore our factories till action against the extortionists and assurance about protection by the administration,” he added.

Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2015

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