Pakistan News

Sindh-wide protest against plan to privatise power utilities

Sindh-wide protest against plan to privatise power utilities

HYDERABAD: Employees of the Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (Hesco) and Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco) put locks on offices and staged rallies and demonstrations across the province on Wednesday in protest against government plans to privatise power distribution companies.

The call for strike was given by the All Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Workers Union.

In Hyderabad, Wapda workers took out a big rally and staged a sit-in outside the press club where the Wapda union leader Abdul Latif Nizamani warned the government that workers could resort to shutdown if it did not change its privatisation policy.

He demanded the government ensure 20 per cent quota in jobs for the employees’ children and asked the FIA to change its attitude towards Wapda workers. Some officers were harassing workers. Services of all contractual employees should also be regularised, he said.

SUKKUR: Sepco employees observed strike in Sukkur, Jacob­abad, Ubauro, Kashmore, Dadu and others towns of the upper Sindh.

They put locks on offices including Sepco head office and attended a big meeting organised by the Wapda union on the premises of the Sepco circle office on Minara Road in Sukkur. Hundreds of employees from Pano Akil, Salehpat, Rohri, Site, Bunder Road, old Sukkur and others towns also took part in the gathering.

The union leaders warned they would not allow privatisation of national institutions as the government was selling away national assets to earn kickbacks and commission.

They said the government was toeing polices of the International Monetary Fund because it had taken huge loans from the international bank. The employees would launch a strong movement against the corrupt government if it did not change its policy of privatisation, they said.

Later, the participants of the meeting marched to the press club in a big rally where they held a demonstration and a sit-in.

In Jacobabad, Sepco employees put locks on offices and participated in a meeting held by the Wapda union at Wapda office where the union leaders said they would not accept privatisation of national institutions.

They said they would not support any anti-worker decision and warned of staging strong protests if the government went ahead with its lopsided privatisation policy.

MIRPURKHAS: Hundreds of workers and office-bearers of the Wapda union took out a rally and staged a sit-in at the press club against plans to sell off distribution companies.

The protesters’ leaders said that privatisation of distribution companies would result in rise in electricity price and unemployment. There was no justification for privatising public institutions, they said.

NAUSHAHRO FEROZE: Sepco employees observed a pen-down strike, staged a demonstration and took out a rally in Naushahro Feroze, Moro, Tharo Shah, Kandiaro, Padidan and Mehrabpur.

The Wapda union leaders addressed protesters’ gatherings and said the privatisation of national institutions would be tantamount to death warrants for the employees.

KHAIRPUR: Sepco employees locked offices in Khairpur, Pir Jo Goth, Piryaloi and Luqman and took out a rally to denounce government plans for privatisation. The Wapda union leaders said the privatisation would only add to unemployment and vowed to continue the struggle against such plans until the government rolled it back.

Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2015

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