By Avinash (Information Secretary PTUDC Sindh)
On 9th April 2017, Anti-Privatisation Labor Conference and Provincial Convention of Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC) was held at Press Club Hyderabad. The program was presided by Nazar Mengal central president PTUDC, while the chief guest was Qamar uz zaman Khan secretary general PTUDC. Comrades of PTUDC from Larkana presented Muffler as a gift to trade union leaders.
Nazar Mengal inaugurated the conference by taking oath from PTUDC newly elected provincial body. The newly elected provincial general secretary Advocate Nisar Chandio briefly explained the strategy and goals of PTUDC. Speaking on privatisation, poverty, workers’ rights and labour policy the trade union leaders said that country’s ruling elite is implementing the privatisation policy at the behest of global imperialism. In past ruling class manipulated masses by proclaiming that privatisation of big public institutions would pay the foreign debt. From last 27 years country has been paid a large amount of money in the form of instalments to pay off its debt, but today the debt has been multifold. Its unblemished picture now that they never wanted to pay off foreign debt instead they wanted to feed capitalists and imperialists. Speakers said that the government tricked the workers that they will give them shares through the public-private partnership, which was nothing more than a fraud. The aim of all these tactics was to implement the policy of privatisation by different names and methods. In the last three decades, hundreds of institutions had been sold out and unemployment soared in the country. The inequality and poverty has increased due to constantly rising inflation. Now, ruling class is planning to privatise health and education sectors at the expense of masses. They demanded that the privatisation of WAPDA, OGDCL, PIA, Railway, Civil Aviation Authority, NADRA, Pakistan Steel Mills, Utility Store Corporation including hospitals and educational institutions should be revoked immediately and privatisation commission should also be abolished. Privatised institutions should also be nationalised and put under the democratic control of workers. The upcoming budget should increase the salaries of workers. There must be legislation regarding the minimum wage that should be equal to 10-gram gold standard. Ghulam Abbas Laghari from Railway Workers Union, Raza Khan Swati Provincial President NADRA, Sharif Provincial General Secretary from Pakistan Para Medical Staff Association, Nadeem Bhutto from Shah Lateef University Khairpur Miras, Rafiq Qureshi President All Pakistan Workers Utility Store Corporation, Syed Muhammad Ali Shah, Sheikh Majeed from PIA, Ashraf Bozai General Secretary APCA Sindh, Adnan Moeen from National Telecommunication, Nazar Mengal Central President PTUDC, Qamar Uz Zaman Khan General Secretary PTUDC, Anwar Panwar Provincial President PTUDC, Ayaz Regional Secretary PTCL, Insaf Lashari from HDA Employees Union, Aslam Abbasi, Daad Muhammad Baloch General Secretary NOP Khuzdar, Meeral Bhargarhi from APCA, Muhammad Morail Panwar from Sindh Highways Union, Muhammad Ismail Jaskani from Para-Medics, Islam Ud Din Sheikh, Mushtaq Anwar Sadiq from GPO Mirpur Khas, Raju Makuana from Garment Workers, Gul Hassan Kaskheli Vice President Railway Workers Union Hyderabad addressed the conference.
Nisar Chandio presented the resolution before the presidential address, which was unanimously passed by the participants.
- The privatisation of WAPDA, PIA, OGDCL, Post office, Civil Aviation Authority, Pakistan Steel Mills, Utility Store Corporation, State Life, hospitals and educational institutions should be revoked immediately.
- Schools and Hospitals that are already given to NGOs and non-government institution must be re-nationalised.
- The charter of demand presented by All Pakistan Utility Store Workers Union should be approved.
- The outstanding salaries of Pakistan Steel Mills Karachi and HDA WASA to be paid immediately.
- The generation plants of KESC and WAPDA that are privatised should be nationalised and they must be under the democratic control of workers, and the unity of WAPDA to be restored immediately.
- The berths of Karachi Shipping Port that have been given to foreign companies must be withdrawn.
- The upcoming budget should increase the salaries of workers.
- NADRA Essential Act 1952 must be abolished, and all the demands of employees should be accepted.
- Working hours to be reduced from 48 hours per week to 35 hours per week, and working shifts to be increased from three to four shifts work.
- The process of unionisation must be made easy and viable.
- There must be a fundamental change in the role of social security, employees old age benefits, NIRC and other institution. And they must be subject to workers’ interests.
- There must be up gradation of more than thirty categories in All Pakistan Clerks Association and the Time Scale for all employees.
- The privileges of Workers Welfare Board must be ensured.
- The contract and daily wage workers of WASA and Municipality must be given permanent jobs immediately.
- Article 3 of the constitution of Pakistan must be implemented, according to which state is liable to provide free education, job and health to every citizen and which must be ensured.
- The dismissed workers of Fatima Fertilizers, Fauji Fertilizers, Unilever, JDW Sugar Mill, Merck, Nestle Kabirwala, Pakistan Tobacco Company must be restored immediately.
The Conference was concluded by the singing of Workers’ internationale.