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Workers demand pre-Ramazan prices

 LAHORE, July 29: Trade union representatives from all over the province have urged the Punjab government to bring to book elements involved in escalating prices of essential commodities from 20 to 25 per cent in Ramazan.

Gathered at the Bakhtiar Labour Hall under the banner of Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF) Central Region on Sunday, the representatives were also unanimous in demanding pre-Ramazan prices and be frozen for the holy month.

Through a resolution, the meeting urged the federal government to take measures on war footing to increase electricity generation by supplying gas and furnace oil to thermal power stations lying idle for want of fuel.

United Bank Staff Union’s Akbar Ali Khan and Wasif Dar, PWF Central Region secretary-general Osama Tariq, irrigation staff union’s Chaudhry Khushi Muhammad Khokhar, Malik Himayun and Saeed Hatam from Gujranwala, Javed Shah (EMCO staff union), National Bank staff union’s M Fiaz, Jameel Butt (Bata employees union), veteran trade union leader Khurshid Ahmed and others appealed to the government to take emergent measures to restore peace in Karachi, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and Balochistan that could stop the killings of innocent people there. The resolution asked the government to immediately stop political interference in railways, Wapda, Steel Mills and PIA in order to revive them through induction of professional managements.

It also asked the federal and provincial governments to amend laws pertaining to social security, Old Age Benefits Scheme and Workers Welfare Fund, enabling industrial and commercial workers to avail medical and educational scholarships for their children and marriage grants for their daughters.

It also called for measures that could ensure pension and old age benefits to industrial and commercial workers after retirement. It demanded the reduction in administrative expenditure on these schemes and diverting funds for raising quantum of facilities to workers and their families. The rate of pension should be doubled in view of the high cost of living.

The social security institution should provide quality medicines to secured workers and allocate some percentage of their resources for prevention of accidents and occupational diseases of workers at their work place by creating awareness and developing environment for promotion of preventive safer culture at work places and get enforced all labour laws, including minimum wages through independent labour inspection machinery in conformity with the ILO Convention No 155 ratified by the Pakistan government.