Pakistan News

Rail workers seek 50pc pay raise

Rail workers seek 50pc pay raise

LAHORE: Pakistan Railways Employees (PREM) Union has urged the prime minister and the federal finance minister to increase by 50 per cent the salary of the rail workers in the forthcoming budget.

“Funds should also be allocated on emergent basis to upgrade all health facilities of the Pakistan Railways (PR) and to ensure provision of free medicines there for rail workers,” union’s senior vice-president Sheikh Muhammad Anwar told reporters on Sunday after holding a meeting of the body.

He said because of the efforts put in by rail workers and officers, the PR income had gone up approximately to Rs32 billion which was Rs15 billion some two years ago. Regretfully, the government did not recognise the labour of the rail workers and had yet to revise their travel and daily allowances.

“The PR hospitals and dispensaries neither have medicines nor equipment to treat patients suffering from hepatitis, diabetes, cancer and heart ailments. Only the officers are allowed to get themselves treated at private health facilities and buy medicines under the local purchase head. But the workers have no such option,” said Mr Anwar.

Deploring denial of pay and allowances raise to the railway workers over the last couple of years, the union SVP said they had been showing restraint so far by not resorting to agitation only because of poor financial health of the organisation.

Appreciating the efforts of minister Khwaja Saad Rafique for revival of the department, he urged the prime minister to sympathetically look into the matter and ask the finance minister to increase the salary of rail workers commensurate with inflation.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2015

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