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Workers rally for Steel Mills’ sacked employees

Lahore

June 7, 2020

LAHORE : A protest demonstration was held here on Saturday against the sacking of over 9,000 Pakistan Steel Mill workers.

Durring the protest demonstration organised by Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement and Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign, the protesters decried the fact that the rulers are speaking against the lockdown in the name of workers but they have rendered over 9,000 workers unemployed in the middle of the pandemic. This decision is a continuation of IMF-imposed policies of privatisation of public entities.

The protesters alleged the negligence, nepotism and corruption of the elites have hallowed the public sector by used it for private enrichment rather than public interest. Instead of holding those elites accountable, the government has decided to put the blame on the workers and fired them, and hand over the sector to the private mafias that cannot be held accountable to the public. The protesters were of the view that without a robust public sector, the social contract in society cannot function. “We need a nationwide campaign to rebuild workers power and check the unlimited powers of the country's ruling elites,” they said. The protest began with observing one minute silence for Bramsh and all those seeking justice for victims of violence in Balochistan. Tahira Jalib, the daughter of the people's poet Habib Jalib, recited her father's poem "Jaag Mere Punjab" to instill the feelings of empathy and solidarity for the people in smaller provinces of the country.

Meanwhile, Barabri Party Pakistan Chairman Jawad Ahmad has termed the performance of PML-N, PPP and PTI similar on the issue of privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mill and referred to it as collusion of political parties.

Privatisation of this national asset which was giving a profit of Rs. 9 billion under Pervez Musharraf means sheer incompetence of PTI.

In the last 20 years, PMLN, PTI and PPP did not improve the management nor production of Steel Mill because the property dealer mafias present in the parties had their eyes on purchasing it.

Asad Umar used to say in the past that if the Steel Mill was sold, he would play a role in favour of the employees but where is he today, and why didn't he raise his voice in this regard, questioned the Barabri Party Pakistan chairman reacting to the decision of PTI government on the possible privatization of Pakistan Steel Mill.

He the government had not yet taken emergency measures during the corona epidemic, which resulted in a life-saving injection of Rs 29,000 being sold for more than Rs 100,000 instead.