KARACHI - More than Five thousand Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) workers are enthusiastic to take part in labour union referendum, which is going to be held today after 13 years. The struggle of PSM workers started in 1997 when management refused to hold the referendum and seized the CBA office. The rift started when management did not recognise paramedical, security and education department of steel mills staffers as labour and halt the 1997 referendum. The various workers' unions of steel mills referred the matter to National Industrial Relations Commission (NIRC). The NIRC single bench ordered in favour of labour unions on May31, 2001 but management took stay against the decision while the case remain in pending to several years but on May 22, 2008 the full bench of NIRC once again ordered in favour of union and ordered the management for holding election before 15 June, 2008. Under the order of the now election are going to take place today in which 5, 321 workers of PSM taking part while the main contest is likely between Pakistan Steel People Workers Union (PSPWU) and United Workers Front of Pakistan Steel Mills (UWFPS), both are the old rivals while another union which is also on the field is Employees Unity Pakistan Steel but it is not being considered favourite in the contest. In previous referendum in 1995, as many as 10, 400 workers took part and People Workers triumphed in the election by securing 6,400 while United workers Front secured 2, 400 votes. In present election People Workers supported by Pakistan People's Party once again is being considered favourite to win the referendum against United Workers supported by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). As many as eleven workers union in Steel Mills are registered while most of the unions have withdrawn from referendum in favour of Peoples Workers including Labor League of PML, Staff and Workers Union, Mazdoor League, Progressive Workers Union, Pakistan Steel Labor Union of JI and Labor Front of Pakistan Steel of ANP. On the eve of historical referendum, workers of PSM are very enthusiastic and holding small and big meetings while the whole steel mills has been decorated with worker unions flags and referendum symbols. One to one contest for the Chairman would be observed between Shamshad Qureshi of Peoples Worker Union and Muhammad Mohsin of United Workers Front. Peoples workers was allotted Torch as referendum symbol while Kite awarded to United Workers Front. It is pertinent to mention here that since last many years the PSM employees have been suffering with various problems due to the absence of the labour unions as management have been led by the retired military personals while military chairmen also use various tactics to week the labour union and adopted different measures to break the unity of the workers and abolish career planning policy as more than 8,000 workers had converted into officer cadre with single order but since last 18 years Junior Officers (JOs) struggling for their promotion. It may also be noted that after wining the 1995 referendum People's Workers Union had assured the Junior Officers (JOs) for their promotion but they failed to fulfil the demands.