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FAISALABAD: Powerloom owners of Sidhar have agreed to reopen their factories on Saturday (today) and Labour Qaumi Movement (LQM) office-bearers also ended their six-day long sit-in outside the DCO office.

City Police Officer Afzaal Kausar along with DCO Noorul Amen Mengal held talks with factory owners and LQM incumbents late on Thursday night and persuaded both sides to first resume their activities and then any kind of action would be taken against the people responsible for taking law into their hands.

It took almost seven to eight hours to satisfy LQM leaders to withdraw the demand of strike immediately.

Factories reopen today; six-day sit-in ends

LQM secretary Aslam Miraj said workers would join their duties on Saturday (today) and a sit-in outside the DCO office had been terminated after assurances held out by the administration that it would implement the labour laws at all costs.

He said workers would not stop their struggle to get their legitimate rights and the district government had been asked to ensure wages of strike days.

He said the CPO and the DCO assured them that the issue of wages would be resolved within a week.

Mr Miraj said a labour court judge had also declared the strike of factory owners illegal and asked millers on Friday to open their units.

He said the judge had also directed action against the millers who misbehaved with court employees and refused to accept notices sent by him (judge).

The court would also hear a petition filed by the district government on Saturday (today), he said.

Millers had been on strike since Aug 8 against what they claimed that LQM leaders had extorted Rs6 million in a few months, but no action was being taken against them.

However, the LQM office-bearers have already rejected the allegations level against them.

Loom Owners Association chairman Waheed Khaliq said the administration had signed an agreement with factory owners that peace would be ensured in industrial areas and any dispute would be resolved without closure of the factory.

He said the administration had assured them that action would be taken against the troublemakers.

All workers would submit their national identity cards to the millers for security reasons and would inform owners in case of leave, he added.

Police and district government officials had on Friday visited the Sidhar area where millers showed them that arrangements had been made to resume their activities.

Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2015

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