LAHORE – The working classes have condemned the recent increase in the prices of petroleum products and electricity and termed it as a bomb upon poor masses of Pakistan. This was said at a meeting of Pakistan Workers’ Federation held at Bakhtiar Labour Hall here on Tuesday.

A large number of workers belonging to various government and private organisations department including Wapda, PTCL, and Pasco, Textile, Chemicals, Irrigation and Transport industry attended the meeting.  The labourers said the loadshedding had caused thousands of industrial units to shut down; resultantly millions of workers have become unemployed. They added that the situation was only due to the flawed policies of the government and prevalence of outdated labour laws in violation of ILO.

The workers held that the ruling elite was responsible for destroying state owned enterprises including P.I.A, Railways, Wapda and Steel Mills. They demanded far reaching reforms to get rid of the outdated feudalistic and capitalistic system and renewal of Industrial Relation Ordinance 2011. They also demanded for amendments in Punjab Industrial Relation Act 2010 & Section 27/B Banking Company Ordinance.

General Secretary of the Pakistan Workers Federation, Osama Tariq presented the report of the activities of the Federation and measures taken to strengthen the unity of the workers. Trade Union leader, Khurshid Ahmed urged the working class to strengthen their unity in order to establish an egalitarian society. He also asked the political parties to accord high priority to the labour issues in their election manifesto for concrete solution of their problems instead of resorting to rhetoric.

General Secretary the National Bank of Pakistan Employees Union Akbar Ali Khan, President of the Federation Lahore chapter Ch. Khusbi Muhammad Khokhar, General Secretary of the Federation Lahore chapter Imtiaz Ali Shah, Rana Hassan, Salahud Din Ayyubi, Muhammad Jameel Butt, Syed Saqlain Shah, Fasihud Din and others also addressed the meeting.

It also passed a resolution to urge the Federal Government not to allow the squandering of assets and funds of the Workers Welfare Fund and Old Age Benefit Institution for political ends rather developing housing and educational facilities for the children of the workers. It was also called upon the Government to reinstate the sacked employees of the PTCL and KESC.