RAWALPINDI – Around 200 gardeners of Rawal Town Municipal Administration (RTMA) and Parks and Horticulture Agency (PHA) on Thursday held a protest demonstration on non-payment of salaries.

They staged a sit-in in front of RTMA offices and Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA) demanding immediate release of salaries for the month of July and timely payment of their “Eid Salary.”

The employees also observed a token pen-down strike for two hours to express solidarity with the protesting gardeners, who feel their jobs are insecure after PHA was set up a year ago.

The PHA was established as a subordinate organisation of RDA like Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) to improve parks and greenbelts in the city.

Accordingly, all public parks and staff deputed for looking after them were transferred to PHA but Punjab government did not settle their financial matters.

Chairman United Workers League (CBA) Saleem Naz said non-payment of salaries especially in the holy month of Ramazan and on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr was regrettable.

Senior leadership of the employees also spoke on the occasion and assured full cooperation of the Union for early release of gardeners’ salaries. They said that the protest demonstrations would continue till meeting of the genuine demands of workers. 

The Town Municipal Officer Chaudhry Liaquat Ali said the RTMA has sufficient funds to pay salaries of the gardeners, adding, “A formal approval of the Punjab government is needed in this regard. Salaries will be paid as soon as we get the approval.”