KARACHI - The PPP-backed employees' trade union workers of the MCB Bank turned violent on Monday and they not only paralysed the operations of the bank in the entire Karachi, but also damaged a couple of branches of the Bank and manhandled some members of the staff. The unionists also created a mess by organizing protests outside all the branches in Karachi on Monday and forced the management to closedown 120 branches, including circular offices in the economic hub of the country. This is the first time that the operations of one of the largest banks in the country had been paralysed throughout Karachi by the union leaders, amid mysterious silence by the provincial government and the police. Neither the city policy nor the Sindh government took any notice of this worst banking scenario in Karachi, created by the PPP-backed union leaders. "Today's protest was merely a paradigm for the management of the bank, we are committed to extend the protest across the country if our demands were not met," Patron Officer, MCB Peoples Labour Union Sayed Ghani said. "Provincial government backed union had filled the Elfi in the locks of all branches of bank since last night and held protest on Monday and forcibly closed all the branches of bank in the city with the patronage of concerned police stations and political leaders of the PPP," spokesman of MCB Kafil Barni said. "Protesters have resorted to aerial firing at Napier road branch of the bank in order to harassing the staff of the bank, moreover they also subjected to torture two bank managers Rehman and Khurram Sheikh of Napier branch and Sindh Secretariat branch respectively," Barni said. Amazing to note that Muhammad Khan former general secretary of MCB union had lodged complaint against the current MCB union with the National Industrial Relation Commission (NICS) and NICS had set up full bench to look into the complaint and intimated the current union of MCB to hold down their activities till the final verdict on the matter. However, from March to June there was no issue reported in the press over the tussle between the union and the management of the bank because both parties have been negotiating all concern issues peacefully but after the termination of General Secretary Pervaiz Yasin of MCB union on June 26, we had doubted the intention of management of the bank, thus ultimately we have no option but to go on protest, said Seed Ghani. Contrary to the protest, taking its firm stance, the bank' management seems to sit tight until the crisis passes. Most of the protesters were not employees of the bank, they were strangers, equipped with sophisticated weapons and used harsh words against the management of the bank and forcibly closed the branches of the bank. They have broken several flowerpots at MCB tower on I I Chundrigar Road, Barni added. According to the eyewitnesses, the pure managerial issue between the employees' trade union workers and the administration of MCB become highly politicised when the workers of the said political party created law and order situation amid to force and influence the bank's management to fulfil their demands The Peoples Labour Bureau staged a sit-in outside the "MCB Tower" to protest against the anti workers' decisions of the management. Violence erupted outside main headquarter and certain branches of MCB by protestors aimed at threatening the management to accomplish union's demand. According to the details, the managers of two branches were reportedly beaten up by the protestors. The political workers and supporters of PPP took the demonstrators inside the reported branches and started firing to harass the staff members of the respective branches. It is pertinent to mention here that the union has political affiliation with Pakistan Peoples Party. Eye-witnesses said that a political leader of PPP directed the city police not to touch the protesters. He promised with the police that the protesters would remain peaceful, but aerial firing and manhandling of bank staff by the unionists created an ugly scene in some branches of the MCB Bank. According to the union sources, the current protest was in favour of workers' demand. Union leaders further said the entire network of MCB branches, 120 in Karachi, will be kept closed till the acceptance of their demands. Saeed Ghani told The Nation that during the last 4 years, 1200 messengers, 250 drivers including 22 union members had been dismissed from their jobs. About 2,000 bank's employees had also taken forced retirement in line with golden handshake scheme. Meanwhile, the MCB management has urged the concerned authorities to take strict and immediate action against the people involved in the forcible closure of its branches in the metropolis, according to a Press release. The management has also demanded the government to take measures for safeguarding assets of one of the leading financial institutions of the country. It maintained that the people, responsible for interfering the working of the Muslim Commercial Bank, were being led by former MCB employees barred form representing themselves as the representatives of the MCB trade union on the orders of the NIRC (National Industrial Relations Commission). The present Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) of the MCB staff Union led by General Secretary Muhammad Khan has disowned the action of the said miscreants. It should be noted that MCB is a leading employer in the banking industry. After privatisation, its operations were expanded and it emerged as a financial institution of international repute. Most recently, Maybank of Malaysia has purchased a portion of the MCB shares and through this deal substantial foreign investment was brought into the country.