Lahore - Electricity and WAPDA workers observed “protest day” all over the country under the aegis of All Pakistan WAPDA Hydro Electric Workers Union (CBA) against the proposed privatization of profitable power distribution companies i.e. LESCO (Lahore), IESCO (Islamabad) and FESCO (Faisalabad) and held protest rallies at Peshawar, Mardan, Islamabad, Gujranwala, Multan, Sukkur, Quetta, Hyderabad and all other major cities.

At Faisalabad, thousands of workers had been staging sit-in (dharna) before FESCO headquarters, Faisalabad for the last three days against the proposed privatization of FESCO and other distribution companies. At Lahore, thousands of workers held a mass protest rally before Lahore Press Club Square, chanting slogans condemning the proposed privatization of electricity distribution companies by the Government of Pakistan on the behest of IMF. Veteran trade union leader Khurshid Ahmad, general secretary of the Union, appealed to electricity consumers and patriotic forces of the nation to extend support for the just struggle of the electricity workers against the proposed privatization of electricity which is a basic need of the citizens since the recent agreement reached between the IMF stipulates that the government would raise the power tariff and privatize profitable Electricity companies. He said that the federal minister for water & power had himself acknowledged before the Senate Committee on Water & Power that privatization of Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) had failed.

Khurshid Ahmad declared that the union has held detailed discussions with the Federal Minister for Water & Power, Federal Secretary, Water & Power at Islamabad and asked them to review the decision of the proposed privatization, claiming that they had promised to place the viewpoint of the workers before the Prime Minister.

 He appealed to strengthen their struggle and make every effort to provide better services to the electricity consumers and prevent the pilferage of energy in order raise its efficiency and not to work without safety regulations. The rally was also addressed by Rana Shakoor, Muzaffar Mateen, Sajid Kazmi, Ch Younis Kamboh, Ch Maqsood, Syed Zakir Ali Shah, Syed Zulqarnain Shah, Rana Shahid, Rana Akram, Mian Abid, representatives of the union along with Akbar Ali Khan, additional general secretary, Yousaf Baloch, chairman, Osama Tariq, secretary and other Pakistan Workers Confederation and other trade union’s representatives.