MULTAN-The workers of Utility Stores Corporation (USC) staged a protest against the proposed closure of the stores here at Chowk Nawan Shehr on Saturday, threatening that all stores would be shut down across the country on October 21 for an indefinite period if their demands are not accepted.

The demo was organised by Utility Stores Corporation Union and the protesters carried out non-stop sloganeering against the government. They also staged a sit-in at the Chowk which caused serious traffic jam.

Speaking on the occasion, union leaders - Tehseen Khan Babur, Khalid Munir and others said that the union would go to any extent to protect interest and rights of the workers and would not let the government close or privatize the department.

They declared that a sit-in would be staged by the workers of utility stores at Islamabad D Ground on October 22.

They pointed out that the Utility Stores Corporation paid tax worth billions and earned profit worth Rs16 billion between 2008 and 2014.

However, they regretted, ill-advised policies of former government and replacement of 12 managing directors in just five years ruined the institution.

They said that still the department is without a managing director.

“The new government wants to punish poor workers for the misdeeds of previous governments and high officials but we’ll not let them do this,” they warned.

They demanded the government to announce an Rs10 billion bailout package for the utility stores, adding that the stores would generate over Rs15 billion in terms of sales tax through its sales.

They alleged that the advisor industry and production presented wrong statistics before the Prime Minister and misled him.

They further demanded the government to confirm the services of 3500 daily wages and 5000 contract workers of the department.