LAHORE - Thousands of electricity and Wapda workers observed “Demands Day” Wednesday under the aegis of All Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Workers Union (CBA) by holding rallies and processions and meetings all over the country.
The protesters urged the Prime Minister to introduce law for merging all distribution, GENCOs and NTDC companies and for strengthening the Federal Ministry Energy and PEPCO instead of handing over national assets of those companies under strong national institutional framework worth trillion of rupees under the control of private members of the board of directors of those companies. The working class declared that those measures would help to provide better services to the 25 million consumers all over the country and also prevent theft of electricity.
At this occasion, hundreds of workers held a mass rally at Lahore under the aegis of the Union which was addressed by Khurshid Ahmad, general secretary of the Union, who pointed out that electricity and water are the basic needs of the citizens and essential for national agricultural, agricultural and socio-economic development and domestic consumers and for raising employment opportunities for the young labour force. Therefore, the government should introduce those reforms in the DISCOs, GENCOs and NTDC in the larger interest of the nation in order to provide better services to the electricity consumers. He also urged the government to allocate more resources for development of dams and hydel generation for provision of cheaper electricity to consumers. He also urged the electricity and WAPDA management to get accepted the legitimate demands of the workers at the earliest.
The rally was also addressed by Ch Muhammad Younas, Rana Abdul Shakoor, Osama Tariq, Ch. Maqsood Ahmed, Nosher Khan, Rana Muhammad Akram, Haji Abdul Latif, Muzafar Mateen and others.
By a resolution, the House demanded to the federal government to provide security to the electricity field staff and also take measures to prevent fatal and non-fatal accidents of the workers at work place by providing them adequate safety equipment. It demanded to the Prime Minister to direct all the chief executive officers of distribution companies not to recruit any new contract or daily wage worker without advertisement and merit in accordance with the standing rules. They also demanded the Prime Minister and federal government to get amended the outdated labour welfare laws and bring them in conformity with the ILO Conventions and get enforced the labour welfare laws through independent labour Inspection Machinery in conformity with ILO Convention No.81 and promote decent work for the workers. They also urged the government to check rising price hike due to rise of retail prices and devaluation of Pakistan Rupee.