LAHORE:Electricity workers observed “Martyrs Day” all over the country Thursday under the aegis of All Pakistan Wapda Hydro Electric Workers Union CBA to pay tribute to the sacrifices of the line staff who died during the performance of their official duties one after another.
Around 28 members of line staff had fatal accidents in the last few months due to unsafe working conditions and serious shortage of line staff, Khurshid Ahmad General Secretary of the union said in his address to the workers. They also held large conferences at Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Multan, Faisalabad, Sukkur, Hyderabad, Quetta and other cities. The one in Lahore was held at Bakhtiar Labour Hall in which hundreds of workers participated. It was presided over and addressed by Khurshid Ahmad General Secretary along with Haji Younas, Osama Tariq, Rana Shakoor, Naveed Dogar, Muzaffar Mateen, Liaqat Ali, Hassan Munir Bhatti and other representatives.
The workers paid tribute to the sacrifices of the martyred workers, prayed for them and pledged to spare no effort to prevent tragic accidents of line staff. There has been no recruitment of line staff in the last five and a half years while quantum of work has been increasing and old hands have been retiring. The workers demanded the federal government fill up vacant posts at the earliest and provide standard safety equipment to them. Khurshid Ahmad urged the workers not to work at the risk of their lives, observance of the SOPs to protect their lives and health and declared that the workers would be compelled to take all measures in support of their just demands if their safety was not ensured. He assured the workers that union would fully protect them. He demanded the electricity management raise the pay scales of the line staff to BPS-15 and raise ex-gratia payment from Rs4 million to Rs5m. The conference was also addressed by Tahir Mayo, Lesco Chief Engineer who assured the workers that the management would hire line staff in consultation with the govt and provide safe working conditions. He declared that the management has arranged to pay Rs4m on, full pension and free education to the children of martyred workers and employment to his child or widow.