LAHORE: The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) on Monday protested strongly against the disconnection of power supply to the textile industry for an indefinite period and warned to lay off 10 million textile workers in the Punjab on December 28 if the supply was not restored.
After an urgent general body meeting of the Aptma, its chairman Shahzad Ali Khan told a press conference that it was a black day in the history of Aptma. He said power to the entire textile sector was suspended on Saturday. “Never before it happened in such a manner,” he said.
He said the Aptma members had been informed by power distribution companies that power suspension would continue till today (Tuesday). He said they had been told that if the water situation in the dams did not improve, the power supply might remain suspended up to February 15.
Khan warned that the industry was left with no alternative but to lay off workers as there would be no productivity for at least one month. He said majority of the 10 million workers, employed by the textile industry, lived in the special colonies built inside the mill compounds.
He said these workers were supplied water and electricity by the mills. He said after the suspension of power supply, these colonies were also without water and power. The residents, he added, would be compelled to vacate these colonies in view of water and power shortages.
He said the mills had been bearing the labour cost of its 10 million workers for more than a year due to regular suspension of power supplies. “The present decision (of abrupt power suspension) is beyond the comprehension of mill owners and they have to lay off the workers,” he said.