PSM offers voluntary separation scheme for rest of staffers

Published July 15, 2021
This file photo shows the entrance to Pakistan Steel Mills. — Mohammad Ali/White Star
This file photo shows the entrance to Pakistan Steel Mills. — Mohammad Ali/White Star

KARACHI: After already sending home thousands of employees, Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) has offered voluntary separation scheme for the rest of its workers.

Acting DGM In-charge (Administration and Personnel) Riaz Hussain Mangi issued a letter on Tuesday which said that those employees who wished to avail separation may apply for the same on enclosed form within 14 days of issuance of the letter. The employees will be paid all the benefits that have been paid to the retrenched employees.

In addition to legal dues in accordance with terms and conditions of employment, the employee seeking voluntary separation will be paid ex-gratia one month’s wages, irrespective of date of release, salary/wage for the month of July shall be paid.

The letter said the PSM had been incurring losses for many years and accumulated loss as on June 30 last year was in access of Rs212 billion while mills had been closed since 2015.

Neither the company has funds nor is money available from any other source to revive the PSM.

In any case, revival of the mills would require firstly massive investment and secondly would entail at least two years, the letter said.

It was, therefore, decided, as a first step, to retrench less than 49 per cent of the workmen and about 1,400 officers on November 27 last year, rendering 4,544 people jobless followed by retrenchment of 500 employees on March 21 this year under the second phase. In the third phase, another about 300 officers and workmen were retrenched with effect from July 3.

The letter said that the management had been approached repeatedly by employees requesting that they be also retrenched. Retrenchment in law could only be ‘Last In First Out’ basis and not otherwise, the letter added.

The PSM DGM said this option was purely voluntary and it was guaranteed that no action whatsoever would be taken against a person who did not opt for it.

A former PSM employee said the mill still has over 4,000 employees, mostly workers. He said the PSM CEO has accorded approval for extension in the contract period of 14 employees with effect from July 1 to Sept 30, 2021.

Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2021

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