PESHAWAR: The employees of Peshawar Electric Supply Company boycotted their duty and held a protest sit-in here on Wednesday against the growing inflation, proposed privatisation of Wapda and delay in recruitment in the power company.

The sit-in was observed for the third consecutive day on premises of Wapda House on Shami Road. Addressing on the occasion, All Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Workers Union provincial chairman Haji Mohammad Iqbal, general secretary Noorul Ameen Haiderzai and other office-bearers announced that the sit-in would continue across the province till acceptance of their demands.

They said that despite repeated requests of the workers, the Pesco administration and board of directors were least bothered to pay serious attention to their demands which forced them to launch protest movement.

“In case the federal government does not pay heed to our demands, we will start protests near Governor’s House and will spend nights under the open sky on the footpath,” said Haji Iqbal. He added that raising voice for their due rights was legal, democratic and constitutional right of workers.

He said that the existing employees of Pesco had to do extra duty due to shortage of staff. He added that 70 per cent of seats of different categories were vacant but the relevant officials were not taking interest to fill the posts.

Haji Iqbal said that several employees lost lives or suffered fatal wounds in the line of duty. He said that majority of the fatal incidents took place due to shortage of employees. The round the clock duty, he said, caused serious mental problems to the employees as they could not take proper rest due to the overload of work.

Pakistan Peoples Party provincial president Najamuddin Khan and Awami National Party provincial spokesperson Samar Harron Bilour also participated in the sit-in and assured the protestors of the support of their respective parties.

They also criticised the federal government for its failure to control increase in prices of petroleum products, power and gas and warned that people had no other option except to join hands for ousting of the ‘incompetent’ rulers.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2021

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