PAKISTAN: Power utilities’ workers stop work, hold rallies against privatization

Monday 27 January 2014

Date: 23 January 2014

Type: News

Source: Labour Watch Pakistan

Keywords: Labor, unions, boycott, privatization

HYDERABAD, Jan 23: Wapda workers boycotted duties and held protests in several towns of Sindh on Jan 22 in protest against the government’s privatisation policy.

In Hyderabad, a big procession was taken out from Labour Hall, Gari Khata, to the local press club. The participants urged the government to give up the idea of privatisation of national institutions.

Led by the All Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Workers Union leaders Abdul Latif Nizamani, Iqbal Kaimkhani, Iqbal Ahmed Khan and Azam Khan, workers were raising slogans against the privatisation plan of the government.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Nizamani said that all the national institutions were backbone of the country, adding that Wapda workers were struggling for the survival of these organisations as they ensured jobs to workers.

If these institutions were given to favourites in the garb of privatisation, employees would be rendered jobless, he added.

He suggested that the government should give up its plan of the privatisation of national institutions like PIA, Pakistan Steel Mills, Railways, Utility Stores Corporation (USC) and financial institutions.

Other office-bearers also spoke on the occasion.


After observing a pen-down and tool-down strike in their offices, hundreds of workers affiliated with Pakistan Wapda Hydroelectric Central Labour Union assembled at Jinnahbagh gate led by Nisar Ahmed Shaikh, regional chairman of the labour union.

Carrying banners and chanting slogans, they marched on the main roads of the city and converged outside the Jinnahbagh and staged a sit-in there.

Criticising the PML-N government for its privatisation policy, they said it would definitely render thousands of workers jobless and worsen electricity crisis in the country.


Like other parts of the country, employees of the Sukkur Electric Power Company (SEPCO) led by union office-bearers of All Pakistan WAPDA Hydro Electric Workers Union (CBA) observed a tool-down and pen-strike against the proposed privatisation of Wapda and power distribution companies by the PML-N government.

Addressing the protesters, union leaders alleged that whenever the PML-N took over the rule of country, it started taking anti-employment steps. In its first tenure, the army had been deputed against Wapda employees and now FIA was in action.

Later, a protest rally was taken out from Muhammad Bin Qasim Park which marched on the Minara Road. Participants of the rally held a sit-in on the road near the press club and shouted slogan against the privatisation policy.

A similar protest was held by Sepco employees in Jacobabad.

Marching on different roads, the rally reached Shaheed Allah Bux Park and held a sit-in on a part of the National Highway that connects Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan borders, suspending vehicular traffic. Later they held a sit-in on the DC office road. Similar protests were held in others towns of districts Ghotki and Kandhkot-Kashmore.


Wapda union workers and office-bearers took out a rally and held a protest demonstration against the proposed privatisation.

The rally started from Old Power House, Manuabad, and culminated outside the local press club.

Led by Fazal Mohammed Shaikh, divisional president, protesters criticised the government for planning privatisation of Wapda.


Rallies were held across the district after a boycott of office works.

Office bearers of the union and employees took out a rally from the Old Power house Khairpur. Carrying banners and chanting slogans against the proposed privatisation of Wapda, they marched on various roads of the city.

Addressing the protesters, Wali Mohammad Leghari and other union leaders said the privatisation would only make thousands of the employees unemployed.

They said that no decision had been made about the 700 employees who were jobless due to the privatisation of Karachi Electricity Supply Corporation (KESC). Moreover, they said that as result of the privatization, electricity would not be supplied to the rural areas.

Similar rallies were taken out in Piryaloi, Pir Jo Goth, Gambat, Thari Mirwah, Kot Diji and other sub-divisions.


Power utility workers boycotted office work, took out rallies and held a sit-in in front of the Badin press club. Protests were also held in Talhar and Matli.###

Published by Daily Dawn on Jan 23, 2014

See online : Labour Watch Pakistan

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