Demanding reversal of the government’s decision on the retrenchment of around 4,500 workers of the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), speakers at a rally on Sunday called for the introduction of a reforms plan to revive “the past glory of the industrial giant”.
The Sindh Mazdoor Union, an Awami-Tehreek’s (AT) affiliated labour body, organised the rally from the Regal Chowk to the Karachi Press Club. Hundreds of workers and activists of various sister bodies of the AT attended the rally.
Speakers included SMU’s central president Noor Muhammad Talpur, AT’s secretary-general Noor Ahmed Katiyar and Sindhiani Tehreek’s leader Mariam Gopang. They condemned the termination of the services of around 4,500 PSM employees and asked the government to reverse its decision and stop the “economic murder” of the people.
They said the current government had failed to run the federal state-run institutions and demanded of the federal government to withdraw all removal orders and shelve its privatisation plan of state institutions, including the PSM, the PIA, Wapda and Railways.
“The PSM needed to be made profitable and be operational long ago, but the federal government wanted to grab the 90,000 acres of the land which is attached with the mills and belongs to the people of Sindh,” said a speaker.
They alleged that by privatising the PSM, the government had provided benefits to several private companies.
Speakers also warned the federal government that it could face strong resistance from workers if it insisted with going ahead with the layoff plan.