The ex-employees of Pakistan Steel Mills blocked railway tracks during their protest near Bin Qasim, in Karachi, on Tuesday. Thousands of workers, some laying on the railway lines, are protesting against the federal government’s recent decision to fire all the employees of Pakistan Steel Mills.
The proposal to sack all the employees of Pakistan Steel Mills, as a cost reducing measure, was approved by the government’s Economic Coordination Committee in June. Last week over 4,500 workers were laid off as a result of that decision. The mills’ spokesperson said the staff at the chief executive’s secretariat and professional degree holders are in the being retained, while spokesperson, lecturers, non-teaching staff at schools and colleges, drivers, firemen, fire tender operators, health workers, security guards, gardeners, paramedical staff, cooks and office attendants are being “retrenched”.
Aslam Bhatti, committee convenor of the All Employees Association led the protest, in Karachi, against the forced reduncies of the steel mills’ workers. He stated that the government should reverse its decision, otherwise the protests would continue.
The protestors lamented the loss of their livelihood, and said that the PTI government’s promise that no one will be laid off during the pandemic was a lie.
The Labour Minister in Sindh, Saeed Ghani, has also condemned the federal government’s decision to sack the employees of Pakistan Steel Mills, and stated that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) will stand by the sacked workers. He also said that the government should take back its decision and announce an economic package to make Pakistan Steel Mills functional once again.