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HYDERABAD, March 5: Members of the Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Central Labour Union on Tuesday took out a rally from Labour Hall and marched up to the local press club to press the government to accept their demands.

Marking the ‘demands day’, the workers carrying banners and placards inscribed with their demands raised slogans against the government for holding back their due rights and facilities being sought through their union.

Speaking to the protesters, the union’s Hyderabad president Abdul Latif Nizamani urged the National Industrial Relations Commission (NIRC) to announce a date for a referendum and also appealed to the government to seriously consider the demands.

He recalled that former federal minister for water and power Naveed Qamar about six months back had assured the union in writing that workers’ son quota would be increased from 22 to over 33 per cent and employees would be promoted by two grades every five years but no practical measures had been taken so far in this regard.

The union’s provincial secretary, Iqbal Qaimkhani, and other leaders also spoke.

Many roads were affected by an hours-long traffic jam caused by the rally. Several hundred people, including schoolchildren, were trapped in their vehicles stuck in the gridlock.

Our Sukkur correspondent adds: Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Central Labour Union observed a demands day in the districts of Sukkur, Jacobabad and Ghotki and in some towns on Tuesday.

A big meeting was held at Muhammad Bin Qasim Park Sukkur attended by a large numbers of employees working in different departments of Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco) from Sukkur, Rohri, Salehpat and other areas.

The meeting was addressed by union’s zonal chairman Syed Zahid Hussain Shah, Lala Dhani Bux Pathan, Noor Muhammad Lashari, Anwer Ali Mangi, Gulzar Ahmed Shaikh and others.

In Jacobabad, Sepco employees wore black ribbons on their arms, hoisted a black flag on the office building and held a protest meeting in the office attended by a large number of employees and the union office-bearers including Muhammad Hanif Lashari, Mehboob Ali Lashari, Akhtar Ali Dasti and others.

In Ghotki, a rally was taken out from Sepco office to the local press club, led by Abdul Rauf Kolachi, Haq Nawaz, Abdul Rauf Dayo and others.

In Mirpur Mathelo, a protest demonstration was held in front of the Sepco office. Rasheed Naich, Akhtar Khan Pitafi, Akbar Soomro and others led it.

Speaking on the occasion, union leaders demanded that a referendum should be held in Sepco between Pakistan Wapda Pegham Union and Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Central Labour Union immediately.